1956 July 1

Report Condemns Blacklisting in Movies and Television

 

The Fund for the Republic on this day issued a two-volume Report on Blacklisting, written by John Cogley, which documented and criticized the blacklisting of people in the entertainment industry because of their alleged Communist associations. Volume 1 is devoted to blacklisting in the movies and Volume 2 to blacklisting in television. The ACLU had issued an earlier report on blacklisting, The Judges and the Judged, on April 6, 1952.

The House Un-American Activities Committee (HUAC) struck back at the Fund for the Republic, the blacklisting report, and its author John Cogley by summoning Cogley to testify on the 10th of July, 1956. A week later, on the 18th of July, HUAC struck back again at the Fund for the Republic by holding hearings on its award to the Plymouth Meeting, a Quaker religious institution, outside of Philadelphia because of the Meeting’s challenge to Cold War policies, including primarily loyalty oaths.

Blacklisting in Hollywood began with the so-called Waldorf Statement by the heads of the major studios on December 3, 1947. The statement was a response to the stormy “Hollywood Ten” hearings that began on October 27, 1947 when a group of writers and directors refused to cooperate with a House Un-American Activities Committee (HUAC) hearings into alleged communist influence in Hollywood. Blacklisting in the radio and television industries went into high gear following the release of the notorious Red Channels report on June 22, 1950 which named alleged communists or communist sympathizers in those industries.

The Fund for the Republic was a project created on October 4, 1951, by a large grant from the Ford Foundation to study the impact of the Cold War on civil liberties in the U.S. For its efforts, the Fund for the Republic was investigated by HUAC.

Read: John Cogley, Report on Blacklisting, TwoVols. (1956)

See also: 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)

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

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