1955 September 1

Blacklist Victim Philip Loeb Commits Suicide

 

Actor Philip Loeb was forced out of his job on the popular television show The Goldbergs in 1951 after his name appeared in the notorious anti-Communist publication Red Channels, published on June 22, 1950. He was later able to obtain only a few acting jobs, and on this day he committed suicide.

Red Channels had a devastating impact on the television entertainment and news industries because it “named” people for alleged political Communist Party membership (sometimes in the past) or Communist associations. Many were blacklisted as a result and unable to work in their chosen profession.

John Henry Faulk, who had a popular radio talk show, was also blacklisted after he was named in Red Channels. He sued, and on June 28, 1962, won a $3.5 million libel suit for being named.

Philip Loeb was portrayed by Zero Mostel in Woody Allen’s film on blacklisting, The Front (1976). Red Channels also appears in the film on reporter Edward R. Murrow, Good Night, and Good Luck (2005), which focused on Murrow’s famous television news program that criticized Senator Joe McCarthy and his tactics. ACLU’s Report on Blacklisting, published on April 6, 1952, documented and denounced the practice of blacklisting in the entertainment industries.

Read a first-person account of being blacklisted: Walter Bernstein, Inside Out: A Memoir of the Blacklist (1996)

Learn about “How and Actor Died of the Blacklist:” http://blogs.forward.com/the-arty-semite/130897/how-an-actor-died-of-the-blacklist/

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

See the Woody Allen movie: The Front (1976)

See the movie about blacklisting, Joe McCarthy, and Edward R. Murrow: Good Night and Good Luck (2005)

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