In 1950, three former FBI agents labeled 41 women “members or sympathizers” of the Communist Party in their self-published book, Red Channels: The Report of Communist Influence in Radio and Television. This book became the central vehicle for a purge that dramatically influenced the future of American television. These women were critical of anti-communist norms and resisted the imposition of these in their lives. Based on original, archival research, this presentation introduces the perspectives of a group of women who had been influencing media production in New York City in the 1930s and 1940s, and tells the story of how anti-communists criminalized their perspectives, drove them from media, and then suppressed the memory that their dissent had ever existed.
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