The list of people in the entertainment industry who were denied employment due to their political beliefs during the 1940s and 1950s.
In November 1947, Hollywood Blacklist began. It prohibited actors, directors, musicians, screenwriters, and others from being employed if they sympathized or were connected to communists. 10 directors, writers and other people were involved in the instigation of this list. They allegedly refused the opportunity to testify before a House Un-American Activities Committee. Because they were not in agreement with the methods being used to investigate, the writers and directors openly defied investigators. The 10 Hollywood entertainers were sentenced to jail for their open defiance. They were also expelled from the Hollywood studios. The Hollywood Blacklist was created as a result of these events. It saw other Hollywood entertainers expelled from Hollywood.
The relationship between America and the Soviet Union was very strained. There were two systems that the U.S. and Soviet Union had, with the former being capitalist and the latter communist. The U.S. made it clear. It strongly opposed communist governance. The U.S. Government was not only furious at the sympathy shown by the directors and writers of Hollywood, but also paranoid. They were concerned about the Hollywood Blacklist’s influence (“Effects”) The Hollywood Blacklist caused tension in Hollywood. People began to gossip about their coworkers and blacklisted entertainers couldn’t find decent work as no one in Hollywood wanted to hire them. Another outcome was the censorship and removal of American films intended to reflect the U.S. ideas of democracy (Humphriesxx). Charlie Chaplin the well-known actor was forced from the U.S. by the Hollywood Blacklist. The list included many other names. Lester Cole was only one of many names on the list. The families of these ten men were hit hard by backlash. They were only released after serving their sentence. Dalton Trumbo is one example of a person who created pseudonyms in order to avoid being paid by employers. Dalton took on a new identity to market his work. His friends were all gone, some had been expelled and others were being monitored by law enforcement. John Henry Faulk lost his job after an investigation of AWARE, a private company that examined sympathizers. John decided that he would sue AWARE. His campaign was supported several times by others (“Inc. John Henry Faulk V. Aware.et. 1962- Faulk Leads The Fight Against Blacklisting.”) John Henry won this lawsuit in 1962. The Hollywood Blacklist had a profound impact on many people’s lives and made many lives better. The courts put the blacklisters on notice and held them accountable for the harm they did. Hollywood has come to terms with this historical incident and is now free to express its opinions.