[America is] so terribly grim in spite of all the material prosperity.
Quoted in “Chaplin Looks at USA” by Cedric Belfrage, National Guardian, November 14,1955: “I no longer have any use for America at all. I wouldn’t go back there if Jesus Christ was President. Yes, I feel bitter – very bitter. But remember that for 15 years I was hounded as a ‘communist’ and persecuted as if I were a criminal – and once faced 25 years in jail for ‘white slavery’ and whatever else they could throw in. I do not need the American market for my films. I will never allow any of my pictures which I control to be shown in America again. [America is] so terribly grim in spite of all the material prosperity. I’m not against materialism but look at what the American kind has done. They no longer know how to weep. Compassion and the old neighbourliness have gone. People stand by and do nothing when friends and neighbours are attacked, libelled and ruined. The worst thing is what it has done to the children. They are being taught to admire and emulate stoolpigeons, to betray and to hate – and all in a sickening atmosphere of religious hypocrisy.”