Based upon the pamphlet Races Of Mankind by Ruth Benedict and Gene Weltfish, Brotherhood of Man is a controversial 10-minute cartoon from 1945 which explores the inherent equality of all peoples, and promotes the tolerance of other cultures. It was sponsored by the UAW (United Auto Workers) union and produced by UPA (United Productions of America).
Ring Lardner Jr., one of the UPA writers of this adaptation, soon came under the scrutiny of the Joseph McCarthy Red Scare and was blacklisted along with nine other Hollywood writers and directors in 1947. Known as the “Hollywood Ten“, they were investigated by the HUAC (House Un-American Activities Committee) and refused to answer any questions during appeals, claiming their rights from the 1st Amendment to the United States Constitution. The HUAC and courts disagreed and all were found guilty of contempt of Congress. Lardner was sentenced to 1 year in Danbury Prison and fined $1,000.
Though blacklisted by the Hollywood studios, Lardner returned triumphantly in Robert Altman’s MASH, for which he won an Academy Award (Best Writing, Adapted Screenplay).
Directed by Robert Cannon, animated by John Hubley, featuring music by Paul Smith.