How un-American

Today marks the anniversary of a sad time in my country’s history when, based on contempt citations issued by the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Un-American Activities, the Motion Picture Academy of America banned the “Hollywood 10” from working in the entertainment industry. Eventually, scores of entertainers, including many very familiar names were blacklisted; see the wikipedia entry about this sad chapter in my country’s history, where you can find a long list of people’s names.

These were the first of many artists whose civil rights were restricted because of fear of communism. Here are links to wikipedia entries about those 10 people.

  • Alvah Bessie, screenwriter
  • Herbert Biberman, screenwriter and director
  • Lester Cole, screenwriter
  • Edward Dmytryk, director
  • Ring Lardner Jr., screenwriter
  • John Howard Lawson, screenwriter
  • Albert Maltz, screenwriter
  • Samuel Ornitz, screenwriter
  • Adrian Scott, producer and screenwriter
  • Dalton Trumbo, screenwriter
  • Ultimately, in the contest between western social system and systems based on communism, communism lost not because people had their civil rights thwarted, but because civil liberties permited the western system of democratic capitalism to thrive.

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    Filed under Civil rights, Free speech

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