The Little Giants

I’m the grandson of George Pepper, who was a blacklisted producer and organizer. October 27, 2017, will be the 70th anniversary of the beginning of the resistance to the blacklist, the day people refused to snitch out their friends at the HUAC hearings.

I was born on October 27 thirteen years ago and like my grandparents, I’ve never snitched, even if it meant I’d get in trouble myself. My grandpa did the same to avoid naming names, but the consequence was having to move to Mexico. Then he was blacklisted, so he stayed there.

Ironically, just like my age on the 27th, the blacklist lasted 13 years until Otto Preminger agreed that Trumbo should put his name on the movie Exodus. But not for my grandfather. He still doesn’t have his name on his movies. They list George P. Werker as the producer, instead of George Pepper.

Recently, for the first time,  I saw a film he produced called Los Pequeños Gigantes or The Little Giants.

The Little Giants was about a poor Little League baseball team from Mexico without many resources. They came to the U.S to play baseball in the World Series (which consisted of America and Canada at the time). All odds were against them and they still managed to win the championship.

I think the reason George chose to make this film was because the Little Giants were like the resistance to the blacklist.  Although there were many odds, (the government was against the resistance, they were unable to get jobs) they still succeeded and ended the blacklist. Like the Little Giants they kept trying and all their hard work paid off and won the battle.  Except for my grandfather.

I was frustrated because the movie was in Spanish and although I speak it, because of the sound quality, I still could barely understand it. I was glad to hear that the Academy of Motion Pictures has made a new version of the movie.

I was proud that my grandfather produced this and other movies because it’s amazing to see a film he made still showing almost 60 years later with 370,000 views and “The Young One” with 676,000 views on YouTube. But sadly, because he was blacklisted, he had to put George P. Werker on his films, instead of George Pepper. All those people that have watched his movies without even knowing who really produced them. I think this is unfair. He put all this work into his movies and couldn’t even get his real name on it!

If it wasn’t for the blacklist and my grandfather having to move to Mexico, more people could have watched the movie and it could have been more popular, and my grandfather would be recognized for what he did. Just like anyone else, he deserves his real names on his movies.

Just because he was in favor of peace, and free speech as well as food, healthcare, and education for everyone, he shouldn’t have been blacklisted and forced to move to another country. We should protect these beliefs nowadays especially with Trump in office trying to take away these rights.

RAFAEL PEPPER-CLARKE has published articles since age 7 in Canada’s The Scoop,  Berkeley Times and Street Spirit. “Is Pearson Another Word For Stalker?” on the violation of student privacy,  appears in Znet Natively fluent in Spanish, Rafael plays horn in the Longfellow Mariachi band and likes memes. For more, follow Rafael on instagram:  @rafa_was_here”. ”  He is the grandson of blacklisted producer and Hollywood organizer, George Pepper.

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