Once when featured player [in Annie Get Your Gun] Danny Nagrin announced that he was going to march in the Communist Parade with his wife, choreographer Helen Tamiris, Ethel exploded.
“You march in that parade, and you’ll never get a job anywhere else I work. I don’t care what you do anywhere else. But not in my show. I’m an American citizen, and I’m proud of it. . . . .”
Nagrin didn’t march in the parade, and Ethel’s strong feelings on the subject never changed. On April 29, 1950, she would serve as Queen of the Loyalty Day Parade down Fifth Avenue, which she did as a way of undermining the Communist Parade.
How the entertainment industry has changed since Ethel’s heyday.Â Then, she could get a man fired for marching in a Communist parade.Â But, had a Danny Nagrin today announced his intention to march in a Republican parade, the announcement alone would cost him his job.
While I would rather Ethel had allowed Nagrin to march in that parade, expressing his political views on his own time however he wanted, at least she didn’t fire him for holding those views.Â Many of those today who hold views at odds with the prevailing liberal ideology in Hollywood would not be so fortunate as that Broadway actor.Â Just ask someone who knows.
Well, as Ethel might put it, there is no business like this one: