What Was Joseph McCarthy’s Blacklist?

Senator Joseph McCarthy’s blacklist was a list of American people suspected of association with the Communist Party in the 1940s and 1950s. The people included on the blacklist were meant to be barred from employment.

McCarthy’s blacklist made its debut during the “Red Scare,” a period of U.S. history in which many people were afraid of Communist infiltration in the United States. Although the blacklist was invoked in many different industries, it most notably affected the film-making community in Hollywood. In particular, 10 members of the film industry, known as the “Hollywood Ten,” were singled out and accused of engaging in communism. They were Lester Cole, Herbert Biberman, Dalton Trumbo, Albert Maltz, John Howard Lawson, Alvah Bessie, Samuel Ornitz, Ring Lardner, Jr., Edward Dymytryk and Robert Adrian Scott.