Ever since it happened, Hollywood has had a rather tortured relationship with the Communist Witch Hunts of the 1950s. At the time the Studios largely lined up with the government and co-operated with something which most felt was wrong, but they were too afraid of what would happen to business if they didn’t. They didn’t think they could risk being seen to be defending possible communists, even if the battle against them seemed to go against American values.
As a result, stars and directors gave names to Congress, and Hollywood drew up a list of names who were blacklisted out of the industry due to their possible communist sympathies. Ever since the tide later turned against those who’d co-operated and especially those who agreed to testify in front of The House Un-American Activities Committee, Tinsel Town has never seemed certain what to do about one of its darker chapters, and has generally given it a wide berth. [Read more…]