Closing Doors: Hollywood, Affirmative Action, and the Revitalization of Conservative Racial Politics

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Abstract

While the racial themes of Hollywood films have been well-documented by scholars, struggles to break down racial barriers in the film labor market are underdocumented. Although self-identifying as liberal, Hollywood of the late 1960s was in fact very resistant to employing and promoting minorities, leading the Justice Department to take the extraordinary step of preparing lawsuits under Title VII against practically the entire industry. Eithne Quinn examines Hollywood’s racial politics during these pivotal early years of affirmative action, looking at black and federal activism as well as the responses of studio management and craft unions. She uncovers Hollywood’s role in anti-affirmative action lobbying and in the formulation and propagation of emergent “color blindâ€� neoconservative discourses which forwarded laissez-faire approaches to achieving racial equality.

Bibliographical metadata

Original languageEnglish
JournalThe Journal of American History
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2012