Oona Chaplin to host new BBC and CBC podcast "Hollywood Exiles"

The new 10-part podcast series explores how Charlie Chaplin became embroiled in what was known as the “Hollywood blacklist.”

16 NOV 2023

"Hollywood Exiles"

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The BBC World Service and CBC announced the new podcast "Hollywood Exiles" hosted by Oona Chaplin ("Game of Thrones") set to launch 22 January 2024. The program tells the gripping story of how Tinseltown star, and Oona Chaplin’s grandfather, Charlie Chaplin, became a key figure in a decades-long FBI campaign aimed at rooting out communism from Hollywood. The podcast unravels the real-life events that led to the notorious House Un-American Activities Committee (HUAC) hearings and the era of the infamous “Hollywood blacklist.”

"Hollywood Exiles" sheds light on the extent and impact of the FBI's investigation into Charlie Chaplin and other figures right across the film industry. Some were barred from the Hollywood Walk of Fame, others from the Oscars – all had their reputations, careers or families torn apart. The podcast features interviews with others affected by these events, including the daughter of Hollywood writer Dalton Trumbo, who wrote under a pseudonym, as well as descendants of other exiled writers and actors whose careers were shattered.

"Hollywood Exiles" is a collaboration between BBC World Service and CBC Podcasts. Earlier this year, they released the award-winning podcast "Love Janessa", and have another show planned for later in 2024.

Jon Manel, BBC World Service Podcast Commissioning Editor, said: “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 said: “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.”

"Hollywood Exiles" will be released on 22nd January 2024, with new episodes available weekly. The 10-part podcast series will be available on BBC Sounds, CBC Listen, and most global podcast platforms. It will also be broadcast on BBC World Service radio. The podcast is a BBC Audio Wales production for the BBC World Service and CBC Podcasts.