Chapter

Hollywood and the Union Question

Reynold Humphries

in Hollywood's Blacklists

Published by Edinburgh University Press

Published in print September 2008 | ISBN: 9780748624553
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780748651153 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.3366/edinburgh/9780748624553.003.0003
Hollywood and the Union Question

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This chapter examines the question of unions in general and Hollywood unions in particular. It was the creation of a union that sowed the seeds of the antagonisms, conflicts and trench warfare which characterised the relations not only between studios and employees in Hollywood, but also between unions. These relations were to lead by a tortuous route to congressional hearings and the consequent blacklist. The chapter discusses the protracted and bitter campaigns waged to form an independent writers' union and the nature of the attempts to sabotage any such union. It first documents and analyses a momentous event in the politics of California which, in many ways, set the scene for what was to ensue: the EPIC (End Poverty in California) campaign of Upton Sinclair, a novelist and Socialist who stood as a Democrat for the post of Governor of California in 1934.

Keywords: Hollywood; End Poverty; Upton Sinclair; unions; politics; writers' union; California; studios

Chapter.  6168 words. 

Subjects: Film

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