Wednesday, November 25, 2009

"hollywood 10" blacklisted 63 years ago today!

on november 25, 1947, the day after ten directors, producers, and writers were cited for contempt when they refused to testify before the house un-american activities committee, a group of movie industry executives announced that the ten men would be immediately fired or suspended, and not hired in the future -thus “blacklisted.” collectively, they became known as the "hollywood ten."

the initial list grew into what became the entertainment industry blacklist as more and more actors, directors, musicians, and other entertainment professionals were denied employment because of their political beliefs or associations, real or suspected. this nascent form of political correctness continued into 1960, when dalton trumbo, a member of the hollywood ten, was publicly acknowledged as the screenwriter of the films "spartacus" and "exodus." even so, a number of the original (and subsequently) blacklisted individuals were denied work in their professions for years afterward.

the red scare, and all it's attendant excesses was a very real tragedy for all the individuals and families that it impacted. looking back today, it's morphed from a blacklist to a black stain on our history of protecting our first amendment freedoms!

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