Who Were Some People That Were Blacklisted During the “Red Scare”?

Some people who were blacklisted during the Red Scare of the 1940s and 1950s include Charlie Chaplin, Judy Holliday, Langston Hughes, Burl Ives and Gypsy Rose Lee. Others include Dalton Trumbo and Orson Welles. As a result of the blacklist, these individuals had trouble obtaining work in Hollywood.

Other individuals blacklisted at this time included Eddie Albert, Lloyd Bridges, Ossie Davis, Dashiell Hammett and Artie Shaw. In all, over 150 actors, writers and other members of the entertainment industry found themselves blacklisted during the Red Scare.

In the late 1940s and 1950s, fear of Communism led Congress, through the House Committee on Un-American Activities, to investigate the entertainment industry out of concern that Communists might use film and other media to promote their ideas. The committee targeted past and current members of the Communist party. The committee also investigated potential Communist sympathizers.

The committee asked prominent people in the entertainment industry to identify people they suspected of being Communists. Those who provided names to the committee included Walt Disney and Elia Kazan.

Some blacklisted individuals found they could no longer work in Hollywood. Some screenwriters were able to work, but they did not receive credit. As the Red Scare abated in the late 1950s, the blacklist lost its power, and it became easier for those on the list to find jobs.