1952 April 6

ACLU Report Blasts Cold War Blacklisting


The ACLU on this day issued a report on the blacklisting of writers, directors, actors, and others in the entertainment and news industries because of their alleged left-wing political views during the Cold War. The report, The Judges and the Judged, was written by Merle Miller. Four years later, on July 1, 1956, the Fund for the Republic issued a two-volume report on blacklisting in the entertainment industries.

Blacklisting in these industries began in earnest on June 22, 1950, with the publication of the anti-Communist report Red Channels, which named over 150 people as Communists or Communist sympathizers.

The ACLU had previously criticized the Hollywood blacklist on December 14, 1947.

Blacklisting in Hollywood began following the House Un-American Activities Committee investigation of alleged Communists in the industry in October 1947, especially with the hearings with the Hollywood Ten that began on October 27, 1947. Soon after, Hollywood producers announced a blacklist with the release of their Waldorf Statement, on December 3, 1947. Blacklisting in Hollywood finally began to end when director Otto Preminger announced, on January 20, 1960, that he had hired blacklisted writer Dalton Trumbo to write the script for the film Exodus.

Read the Report: Merle Miller, The Judges and the Judged (1952)

Learn more about Cold War blacklisting: David Everitt, A Shadow of Red: Communism and the Blacklist in Radio and Television (2007)

Read: Robert Vaughn, Only Victims: A Study of Show Business Blacklisting (1972). (The author was the co-star, with Bill Cosby, of the 1960s TV show, I Spy.)

See the film about blacklisting in Hollywood: Hollywood on Trial (1976)

Watch the film, which covers both Joe McCarthy and blacklisting: Good Night, and Good Luck (2005)

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