McCarthy Targets Hollywood; Hundreds Blacklisted

1947

Under the chairmanship of Rep. John S. Wood and led by Sen. Joseph McCarthy, the House Un-American Activities Committee holds a new round of hearings that focus on communist influence in Hollywood. Hundreds of prominent members of the entertainment industry are subpoenaed and asked to “name names” of communist sympathizers. Those who refuse to testify are placed on a “blacklist” within the industry and are denied work. Ultimately, more than 300 people are blacklisted. After unedited footage of the hearings becomes public, the committee’s activities come under fire. On Dec. 2, 1954, the Senate votes 67-22 to censure McCarthy for conduct unbecoming to a senator. The committee is abolished in 1975.