In October 1947, the House Un-American Activities Committee (HUAC) called Hollywood figures to testify about allegations of communist propaganda in American films. Although the committee never found evidence of Communist propaganda, ten of the writers and directors called to testify were held in contempt of Congress, fined and sentenced to prison. Hollywood’s power players responded to the proceedings by creating a self-imposed blacklist of those “Hollywood Ten” and others implicated in the proceedings. With that, the film industry became the first mass-employer to adopt a blacklist as a policy to be used against employees whose political beliefs ran counter to prevailing orthodoxies. Blacklist: Hollywood’s Red Scare sparks reflection, conversation and engagement regarding civil liberties and patriotism in the 21st Century using the counterpoint of a time in which art, artistic expression and speech were no longer protected.
Blacklist: The Hollywood Red Scare is a multi-sensory exhibition that explores the intersection of politics, art, economics, and the social dynamics that impacted the American First Amendment rights of speech, religion, and assembly, during Hollywood’s Red Scare. Through personal narratives of those who were blacklisted, members of House Un-American Activities Committee or HUAC, and film executives, Blacklist examines the shifting definition of what it meant and means to be a patriotic American.
On view in the Mincberg Gallery through February 20, 2022, the exhibition highlights issues of persecution, loss of civil liberties and the dangers of propaganda. HMH Curators will supplement the exhibition with personal stories for a Houston connection.
Blacklist: The Hollywood Red Scare is originally curated by Jewish Museum Milwaukee.
Spanish tranlastions sponsored by:
Lynn Gordon and Hyman Penn, M.D.
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