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.
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)
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. ;)
sesmo 21st-Nov-2012 10:17 am (UTC)
Kibbutz is the actual execution of communism, from each according to their ability to each according to their need. It works, for a generation or two. It does not involve dictatorships either.
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)
fishphile 21st-Nov-2012 03:42 pm (UTC)
Not Marx's original ideas, but what communism actually was?

And, really, that's the problem I have with Marx. His work leaves too much room for interpretation, especially when it comes down to how long the dictatorship of the proletariat would be in power before withering away. What communism has historically been is not necessarily Marxism, but because it's so open ended, it's not necessarily against what Marxism is either.

Also, I don't think this poster is a troll.
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.
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)
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.
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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