Chaplin Received Death Threats When He Came Back to The US


Charlie Chaplin is easily one of the single most famous actors in the history of film, which makes it kind of weird to think that he didn’t get a star on the Hollywood walk of fame for like 20 years after the idea had been conceived, because people back then were all assholes.

In case you’re wondering, Chaplin was “unanimously” voted to be one of the first 500 people to receive a star in 1956 when the idea of littering Hollywood’s roads with the names of the people who’d made the city world famous. However the committee in charge of deciding who actually got a star felt that despite his immense contributions to film, comedy and moustaches everywhere, Chaplin didn’t deserve one because he was sympathetic to several liberal causes they didn’t like. This would later be described by noted film critic, Roger Ebert as a “dick move” [citation needed].

Chaplin being the kind of guy who didn’t give a shit about something as trivial as the wholly deserved recognition of his peers, never bothered to challenge being passed over for a star because he was cool like that. His son however, refused to take the slight against his family’s name lying down and unsuccessfully petitioned Hollywood for damages in 1960, which went about as well as you’d expect considering we used the word “unsuccessfully” up there.

In fact, it wasn’t until 1972 that Chaplin was finally given the recognition he deserved, in the form of an Academy Award, which you will notice, is absolutely not a star on the Hollywood walk of fame. Which we guess must have struck a nerve somewhere, since the second it was announced Chaplin was going to be receiving an award for his lifetime of work, the people in the Hollywood walk of fame office suddenly decided that Chaplin should probably get a star. Oddly, the moment this was announced, the same people who didn’t think Chaplin deserved a star from 16 years prior once again came into the picture to, unsurprisingly, be huge dicks about the whole affair.

The outcry against Chaplin was so severe that when he announced that he’d return to the States for the first time in 20 years to collect the award he absolutely fucking deserved, he was inundated with threats against his life and travelled everywhere for the few days he was in the country under armed guard out of fear someone would try and slap him to death. Even worse, when he finally went to claim his award, no one at the ceremony clapped his arrival.

Just to make sure you read that correctly, when Charlie Chaplin collected an award recognising his lifetime of contributions to the world of film, people in the US were so bitter about stuff that had happened 20 years earlier, no one applauded. Boy, that’s just depressing.