"Red Channels," a document which publicly blacklisted many individuals in the literary and arts community as communists or communist sympathizers was published in 1950. Almost immediately, the blacklisted artists found their careers and personal lives drastically altered. While many of us are aware of the more high-profile Hollywood blacklist, a similar blacklist (or "graylist" ) existed in New York as well. While the Broadway community was not as aggressively attacked as the Hollywood community, many artists found themselves out of work and some never worked again. Public ostracism of these artists often resulted in ill health, domestic issues, and even suicide.
A third of those blacklisted were women. Their story is not as familiar, but equally important. Diminished Fifth chronicles the professional and personal lives of five high-profile New York women whose lives were changed forever by the blacklist.