Event to showcase '30s era to present controversies

HOLLYWOOD — The blacklist era will be the subject of a full-scale exhibition, “Reds and Blacklists: Political Struggles in the Movie Industry,” to be presented by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences Feb. 1-April 21.

Curated by Larry Ceplair, co-author of “The Inquisition in Hollywood: Politics in the Film Community, 1930-1960,” the exhibition will follow the blacklist from its foundation in conflicts between trade unionists and studio executives as early as 1933, through the Cold War examinations by the House Committee on Un-American Activities and their repercussions, to the controversies that continue to this day, as seen in the reactions to the Academy’s 1999 decision to present an honorary Academy Award to director Elia Kazan, who was among the first to cooperate with the HUAC.

Lessons of the time

“The lessons of that time should not be forgotten,” said Ceplair. “For those who did not live through it, this exhibition has been designed to help them understand the causes and effects of a time in the United States when one’s political past could be used to intimidate, coerce and even destroy.”

Among those tapped to contribute memorabilia and materials to the exhibition were the Academy’s Margaret Herrick Library, UCLA, USC, Princeton, the U. of Wisconsin, the Writers and Screen Actors Guilds and friends and family members of blacklisted individuals. An audio tour narrated by actor Peter Coyote will also be available.

“Reds and Blacklists: Political Struggles in the Movie Industry” will be free and open to the public. For information, call (310) 247-3600.

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