1954: Hollywood Purges Reds, But is it Permanent?

The problem that the anti-Communists feel that they face is somehow the Communist treasury in Hollywood will be restored. Anti-Communists activity is at a standstill and the Communists are taking advantage of it wherever they can.

The Milwaukee Sentinel, June 3, 1954

Since April, 1951, a two-phase program developed in Hollywood, which is probably the best example of cleaning an industry of a heavy Communist infiltration. This effort was initiated by certain members of motion picture management and by a group of self-appointed anti-Communists who believed that the problems of Hollywood could be solved without hatred, without vindictiveness, even with an anxiety to win back to constructive Americanism those who had wandered away.

The Hollywood effort was a tremendous success because of it’s two-phase characteristic. The first phase is represented by opposition to the continued use of Communists in motion pictures, not because of the contents of the pictures they made, but because they had provided a huge treasury for the Communist Party. The aim was to attack that treasury and that was accomplished. It was possible to say that in 1953 that no known Communists were being employed in Hollywood in the motion picture industry.

The second phase was the effort to bring back to positive Americanism and to make effective in every way men and women who had once been Communists or who had been associated with Communist activities. This phase of the work has often been misunderstood. It gave the entirely erroneous impression that a group of self-appointed anti-Communists were “clearing” former Communists. No one can “clear” another person; it can only be done by the individual himself as an act of conscience.


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