The BBC World Service and CBC have disclosed the impending launch of a new podcast, to be hosted by Oona Chaplin (Game of Thrones) on 22 January 2024.
Hollywood Exiles narrates the compelling tale of how Charlie Chaplin, a prominent figure in Tinseltown and the grandfather of Oona Chaplin, became a central figure in an extensive FBI initiative spanning decades, with the aim of eradicating communism from Hollywood. The podcast delves into the factual occurrences that precipitated the infamous House Un-American Activities Committee (HUAC) hearings and the era of the notorious “Hollywood blacklist.”
Oona Chaplin, as the host, guides the audience through a journey commencing with her grandfather’s remarkable life, unfolding a narrative sure to engage listeners.
Hollywood Exiles throws light on the breadth and consequences of the FBI’s scrutiny of Charlie Chaplin and other individuals throughout the film industry. Some faced exclusion from the Hollywood Walk of Fame, others from the Oscars – each experiencing the destruction of their reputations, careers, or families.
The podcast incorporates interviews with those affected by these events, including the daughter of Hollywood writer Dalton Trumbo, who wrote under a pseudonym. It also features descendants of other ostracized writers and actors whose careers were shattered.
Hollywood Exiles marks a collaboration between BBC World Service and CBC Podcasts, following their earlier success with the award-winning podcast Love, Janessa. Another show is planned for later in 2024.
Jon Manel, BBC World Service Podcast Commissioning Editor, says: “We are extremely excited to be launching the latest show in our partnership with CBC Podcasts. Oona Chaplin takes us on what, for her and her family, is a personal journey. She tells a story that combines the world of Hollywood, global politics and the FBI. With its beautiful music, rich sound design and storytelling, it’s one of those podcasts for which, if you can, you need to close your eyes and prepare to be immersed.”
Arif Noorani, Director, CBC Podcasts says: “Our first collaboration with the BBC World Service, Love Janessa, was a tremendous success and we are thrilled to partner with them once again to bring this gripping story of glamour and political intrigue to audiences around the world. Oona Chaplin is the ideal host and guide for Hollywood Exiles. Her connection to the story about what happened to her grandfather brings an authentic, unique perspective to this complex chapter of Hollywood’s history.”
Scheduled for release on 22 January 2024, with subsequent episodes available weekly, Hollywood Exiles comprises a 10-part series accessible on BBC Sounds, CBC Listen, and various global podcast platforms. Additionally, it will be broadcast on BBC World Service radio.
Produced by BBC Audio Wales for the BBC World Service and CBC Podcasts, the podcast features a theme by Nick Thorburn, music by Phil Channell, and sound design by Phil Channell and Cathy Robinson.