In 1953, the House Un-American Activities Committee unearthed a disturbing fact: Lucille Ball was a member of the Communist Party. This revelation came only two years into the I Love Lucy phenomenon that besotted Americans simply called "The Show." Now the future of The Show and Lucille Ball's hard-won career hung by a thread.
As it turns out, Lucy was no more Communist than you or I. As a young woman, she'd signed a Communist Party card to please her beloved grandfather who became a Communist after he lost his entire life's savings in a court battle after a freak accident left a neighbor child paralyzed. It was enough for the FBI to keep a file on her.
Still, The Show must go on. Desi Arnaz handled the situation beautifully. In the first I Love Lucy episode taped after Lucy's Communist link hit the headlines, he introduced her to the studio audience as, "And the only thing red about her is her hair, and that isn't even real." Lucy ran out on stage and bowed, ran to the other side of the stage and bowed. There was thunderous applause and Americans love Lucy to this day.
So why did I tell you that story?
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