ONTD Political

'Hollywood Holocaust' apology published by paper.

9:37 pm - 11/20/2012
The son of Hollywood Reporter founder Billy Wilkerson has apologised for the trade paper's role in the 1940s witch-hunts that saw many in the industry ostracised for having communist ties.

The actors, writers and directors on the so-called 'blacklist' suffered huge damage to their careers as a result.

Willie Wilkerson's apology for what he called "Hollywood's Holocaust" was published in The Hollywood Reporter.

He said his father had wanted to take revenge against "studio titans".

According to his son, Billy Wilkerson tried to establish his own studio in the late 1920s before founding The Hollywood Reporter in 1930.

"For whatever reason, the movie brass refused him entry into their 'club' and squashed his dream," Mr Wilkerson goes on. "So he found another one: exacting revenge."

After World War II, Wilkinson Senior supported the blacklist by using his paper to publish a series of editorials that attacked communist sympathisers and their supposed influence in Hollywood.

"In his maniacal quest to annihilate the studio owners, he realised that the most effective retaliation was to destroy their talent," wrote Willie Wilkerson of his father.

"In the wake of this emerging hysteria surrounding communism, the easiest way to crush the studio owners was to simply call their actors, writers and directors communists.

"Unfortunately, they would become the collateral damage of history."

The first Hollywood 'blacklist' was published on 25 November 1947. Mr Wilkerson said he felt it was necessary to apologise "on the eve of this dark 65th anniversary".

Studios denied work to those named on the blacklist, forcing some writers to work under pseudonyms and others to work overseas.

The investigations of the House Un-American Activities Committee (HUAC) in the 1940s and 1950s prompted an anti-communist witch-hunt.

"Calling someone a communist today is almost laughable," wrote Willie Wilkerson, 61. "But in 1950 it was a professional death sentence.

"Instantaneously people lost their jobs, and future employment was, in too many cases, denied.

"The blacklist silenced the careers of some of the studios' greatest talent and ruined countless others merely standing on the sidelines," Wilkerson wrote.

"On behalf of my family, and particularly my late father, I wish to convey my sincerest apologies and deepest regrets to those who were victimised by this unfortunate incident."

Edward Dmytryk, Dalton Trumbo and Ring Lardner Jr were among the members of the so-called 'Hollywood 10' who were cited for contempt of Congress for refusing to cooperate with HUAC.

William R Wilkerson died in 1962, two years after the blacklist was broken.

Source: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/entertainment-arts-20408094

OP: I still don't understand the way some Americans say the word 'communist' or 'socialist' like its a bad thing. I think a completely socialist system cannot work just as a completely capitalist system can't. The best bits of both would work just fine.
romp 21st-Nov-2012 05:40 am (UTC)
All this. And I think "socialism" has come to mean something similar to "Satan" for many USers. I mean, the USSR was called the Evil Empire but the president in the '80s--I think that demonstrates the mindset.
nadejda 21st-Nov-2012 06:01 am (UTC)
and USSR was Evil Empire.

can you imagine millions of people who had been put into GULAG ( my grandfather was there), another were got out of their homes in the winter and freeze to death, another killed in the van be carbon monoxide and simple shot to the head. And I can go on and on.

So please do not speak about something you do not know and didn't experience.
romp 21st-Nov-2012 06:16 am (UTC)
I actually did visit the USSR. Didn't meet a lot of people who were evil. I think perhaps you're confusing a country with a person.
the_physicist 21st-Nov-2012 09:50 am (UTC)
thank you for this post.

i can't with all the people who go around saying stuff that minimises the shit Stalin did.
wrestlingdog 21st-Nov-2012 02:00 pm (UTC)
Well said.
jettakd 21st-Nov-2012 03:10 am (UTC)
Still waiting for anyone to apologize for the Lavender Scare at the same time.
squeeful 21st-Nov-2012 05:13 am (UTC)
This. Apologies and acknowledgement.
moonshaz "Hollywood Holocaust"? SERIOUSLY?21st-Nov-2012 04:51 am (UTC)


I just can't with people referring to anything and everything as a holocaust. It's incredibly offensive and disrespectful to actual Holocaust survivors, their relatives, and well... pretty much everyone Jewish or a member of one of the other groups that were targeted for annihilation by the Nazis.

Edited at 2012-11-21 05:11 am (UTC)
nadejda 21st-Nov-2012 06:05 am (UTC)
they shouldn't apologize- they should get the medals for saving Americans from horrible fates which would be theirs like they were for soviet people.

If someone prevented the communist revolution in 1917 in Russia they would be saving millions lives.

So say thanks to people who saved your country from communism.
romp 21st-Nov-2012 06:19 am (UTC)
Are you even a little aware that it had nothing to do with communism? And communism does not = Stalin. The US was not on the brink of a communist dictatorship.

You might as well be suggesting we thank the men who ran the Salem witch trials for saving us from Satan.
zinnia_rose 21st-Nov-2012 07:13 am (UTC)
A+ reply.

But nadejda is a troll so I'm afraid you might as well be screaming into a toilet.
homasse 21st-Nov-2012 01:09 pm (UTC)
I don't think she's a troll. People throw the word "troll" around when people disagree and they aren't familiar with them - she and I had a very civil discussion in one post. Calling her a troll is kind of unfair. :/
romp 21st-Nov-2012 05:41 pm (UTC)
Ha! Thanks for breaking it to me gently. ;)
nadejda 21st-Nov-2012 07:58 am (UTC)
You know in Russian Imperia no one thought that after a few years there will be communist dictatorship.

And all started the same way- writers\journalists write how good will be life after revolution and people start to believe this and in no time after they made the revolution they got into communist dictatorship.

And there is no any example in the world that communism not = Stalin\Mao\REd Khmers from Cambodia\North Korea dictatorship, etc- the list can go on and on.

There is no Satan - so this example is not right.

but there is communism and it's always the dictatorship because it could not survive without it.
the_physicist 21st-Nov-2012 10:05 am (UTC)
Agreed all that had nothing to do with communism.

And communism does not = Stalin.

I'm not sure what country you are from, I'm sorry. But to me at least, well, it kind of does though. Not Marx's original ideas, but what communism actually was? that was fucking reprehensible in almost every country (not saying the West doesn't have its share of atrocities it committed as democracies, don't misunderstand me!)

Sure, some countries allowed you to leave, like Yugoslavia, go to the West on holiday. Others shot you dead though if you tried to cross the border. The majority were not nice. And to have communism always refer to the ideal that Marx wanted is tragic because it makes history be ignored. Many communist countries haven't dealt with their past, they didn't have the kind of Nuerenberger trials that West Germany had.

I understand that there are issues with US Americans seeing things too black and white (or red and white?!), but i don't feel it's a good thing to try and insist towards communism not referring to actual RL and historical communism, and instead Marx's ideas.

(i just see that someone says the person in this thread is a well-known troll though, lol, so i can also see you probably have a more wide reaching opinion on this, but don't want to waste time typing it up for this person).

Edited at 2012-11-21 10:05 am (UTC)
the_physicist 21st-Nov-2012 09:53 am (UTC)
it wasn't actually about communism though in this case at all, it was just a witch-hunt.
nadejda 21st-Nov-2012 09:55 pm (UTC)
it hard to say- in the article said that the problem with these people was that they have some connections with communists, or communism ideology.

You if these people had access to media it's enough to grow the communist ideology inside the country.
As I said the same was in Russia before 1917- people just start to publish articles about how good will be after revolution and readers who recently didn't think about such matters start to think that it will be good. And step by step in a blink of an eye- here it is-revolution after that civil war and after that repressions.

And there is one more thing- repressions didn't start with Stalin- it's had been started long before him by Lenin. They together responsible for the terror which increased dramatically in Stalin's time.

One interesting thing- most of the people think that gas chambers had been invented by Nazi- it's not.
It had been invented by KGB ( it's named NKVD at that time)- only they used not chambers but trucks - you know this sort of truck there driver's set are separated from the big compartment which normally used to transport milk, bread, etc. But they used it for prisoners and connected the tube from engine with this compartment- so on the street people thought that it was bread or milk truck but it was moving gas chamber.

And after a few rounds across the city they drove dead people in suburb and put them into the hole after that covered this hole by dirt and grass and nobody will ever knew there prisoners are. Sometimes they even told to relatives that person just was sent to GULAG but in reality this person was long dead and buried in the middle of nowhere.



aviv 21st-Nov-2012 04:33 pm (UTC)
I don't like the idea of If someone prevented the communist revolution in 1917 in Russia they
would be saving millions lives.

That was the same idea (that we had to be saved from all the evil communists) that a lot of people of my country had when they supported a group of militars that bombed the government palace, kill/torture/made dissapear all the communist/kind of communist, and had a 17 year dictatorship.

(in case it wasn't clear: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1973_Chilean_coup_d%27%C3%A9tat )

What I'm trying to say is: All communists aren't the same. They have differences specific to their country. (For instance, in Chile communists always have participated in the elections and never had an armed group -until the eighties)
nadejda 21st-Nov-2012 10:18 pm (UTC)
I understand that you are talking about- but it's not the whole picture- it it not?

What about the Movimiento de Izquierda Revolucionaria - MIR

"is a Chilean political party and former far-left guerrilla organization founded on October 12, 1965. Andrés Pascal Allende, a nephew of Salvador Allende, president of Chile from 1970 to 1973, was one of its early leaders. ...MIR then considered itself a revolutionary vanguard party and advocated a Marxist-Leninist model of revolution in which it would lead the working class to a "dictatorship of the proletariat".

...On 1 May 1969, fifteen armed MIR guerrillas stormed the Bío-Bío radio station of Concepción and transmitted a discourse urging the people to take up arms and overthrow the current government.[6] On 21May, a group of local MIR sympathizers took to the streets of Concepción and attacked the branches of 'The City Bank' in the city and the offices of the 'La Patria' newspaper...
...The threat from the MIR was underlined by the discovery at the end of May of a guerrilla training camp in the southern province of Valdivia.[7]Beginning in March 1968, a series of MIR bomb attacks took place in various parts of the country that targeted among others, the U.S. consulate, the Chilean-American Institute in Rancagua, the main office of the Christian Democratic Party, the office of Chile's largest-selling El Mercurio newspaper and the residence of senator Francisco Bulnes of the National Party.[8] In June 1971, a small group known as the Vanguardia Organizada del Pueblo (VOP), founded among other by two former MIR militants expulsed from the Organization in 1969 conducted the abduction and cold-blood execution of the former Minister of Interior Affairs during the Christian Democratic government, Edmundo Pérez Zujovic."


and more about Chile communists who "didn't have armed group" see here http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Revolutionary_Left_Movement_%28Chile%29

so I can say that all in your country started as it was in Russia before 1917- and in the future your country could get the same fate as mine- and I would in your place give thanks to people who stopped it- because even if they killed few thousands they saved millions.
jenny_jenkins 21st-Nov-2012 05:25 pm (UTC)
The script of the film Spartacus - dangerous stuff!
tallycola 21st-Nov-2012 06:11 pm (UTC)
They weren't communists though, just people the guy didn't like.
nadejda 21st-Nov-2012 10:23 pm (UTC)
If they didn't have the connection with communists it's another story do not worth the discussion.

I am commenting this post because there were comments in which had been said that communism is not bad, Stalin was only one bad person not the idea, etc.

So I'd like to show to people who didn't experience communism what it really was.
tallycola 21st-Nov-2012 06:13 pm (UTC)
I really wish they wouldn't call this a Holocaust. :-/ I don't see what's wrong with Hollywood McCarthyism or something else a bit more ACCURATE.
moonshaz 23rd-Nov-2012 07:03 am (UTC)
I said the same thing up there. I'm surprised so few have commented on that, because I think it's really gross!
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