Fil110 Wa4 Essay

653 words - 3 pages

In the late nineteen forties, Hollywood underwent legal and political changes due to the Hollywood blacklist and the Paramount decision which altered the direction of the filmmaking business in America.
Hollywood’s blacklist was an unconstitutional persecution of many high profile Hollywood producers, directors, writers and actors for supposed Communist affiliations who were suspected of inserting Communist political messages into their films. In October of 1947, “the House Committee on Un-American Activities (HUAC) subpoenaed nineteen studio employees as a part of an inquiry into Communist influence in Hollywood” (Lewis, 2008, p197). Out of the nineteen, ten were called to the stand and hence called the Hollywood Ten. Their testimonies revealed nothing when questioned about their communist stance and affiliations; therefore they were deemed unfriendly witnesses. The committee members, although concerned with communist threats to America, held larger racist views of Jews and distaste for Hollywood in general. Since committee members felt that Hollywood was mostly run by Jews, the threat of Communist infiltration in the film industry was of great concern. At that time, Hollywood was in the process of unionizing its workforce which then, was also associated with Communism. Despite the prejudicial injustice, The Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) defaulted on its promise to support the Hollywood Ten and adhered to the HUAC’s legal action to indict and incarcerate all parties who were deemed unfriendly witnesses. Shortly thereafter, an industry wide blacklist followed “all with the cooperation and much of it under the supervision of the MPAA” (Lewis, 2008 p200). This action left the employees of the film industry at the mercy of the studios that were able to take monetary advantage of the situation and forfeit on salaried contracts and monies owed. More than three hundred employees of the film industry’s workforce were blacklisted for about ten years. Notwithstanding the feeble case against the Hollywood Ten, they and the other blacklisted workers, found it almost...

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