There was a time when Hollywood in which great figures of the film industry were part of the Gray List and of the Blacklist. And being part of these lists meant being out of work, going to jail, or exile.
Between the years 1947 and 1957 there were more than 200 people that were part of these lists, suspected of being leftist, communist, or sympathetic to liberal or progressive ideologies.
The Hollywood Gray List
In the Hollywood Black List, there were various personalities of the film industry who were accused of being leftists or communists by the Un-American Activities Committee (HUAC) created in 1938.
Among these people stand out the “Hollywood Ten”, Which were convicted during the McCarthyism for contempt of Congress when they refused to answer questions about his alleged communist militancy.
The Hollywood Ten they were: Edward Dmytryk, director. Adrian Scott, producer and screenwriter. Herbert Biberman, director and screenwriter. Dalton Trumbo, novelist, director, and screenwriter. Samuel Ornitz, screenwriter. John Howard Lawson, screenwriter. Alvah Bessie, screenwriter. Lester Cole, screenwriter. Ring Lardner Jr., screenwriter. Albert Maltz, screenwriter.
The day after the summons issued against the contempt of Congress Of these ten people, the film industry executives met at the Waldorf Astoria Hotel in New York, where the Waldorf Declaration.
It stated that these ten people would be suspended or fired and would not be rehired until the contempt charges were dropped. To do this, they would have to swear before him Congress that they were not communists.
In early 1948, All was convicted of contempt and served prison terms.
Unlike the Blacklist, in the Hollywood Gray List, there were the personalities suspected of being sympathizers of leftist ideologies. They were listed as graylisted and they were not legally charged, but suffered various prejudices for it, especially because they found themselves facing social ostracism, without job offers, and in some cases, their contracts were terminated.
Very famous personalities were part of the Gray List such as Henry Fonda and Melvyn Douglas. The latter was not a communist, but he was a progressive, known to The President Franklin D. Roosevelt and a great defender of his policies.
Douglas, along with his wife, was part of the Hollywood Anti-Nazi Committee and other left-wing associations. For this reason, he became part of the list and had to dedicate himself to the theater, although he returned to the cinema after the persecution and received an Oscar in 1964 and another in 1980.