During an era in which Hollywood and Washington are shakily aligned in the witch hunting of actual and reputed socialists, Louella struggles to maintain her position as cheerleader for the status quo, while Hedda grabs a torch and tries to burn it all down, using celebrity gossip to further the racist, xenophobic interests of the FBI. There’s also a new competitor in town, who at once subversively spoke to and for Hollywood’s gay community, while also deflecting attention from his own sexuality by attacking others.

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