An April 4 Associated Press story ("Hollywood writers finally get full credit") about the Hollywood blacklisting of screenwriters, says:
"The blacklists began when Sen. Joe McCarthy accused State Department officials of being communists, fanning attacks against people suspected of communist leanings or affiliation. The accusations spread to Hollywood with House Un-American Activities Committee hearings, in which writers, directors, actors and others were called to testify. Those who refused to testify or were accused by colleagues of political activity faced career-ending studio blacklisting."
All three of those sentences are false.
The blacklisting of screen writers who were members of the Communist Party began in 1947. The House Committee on Un-American Activities held hearings in October 1947 on the communist infiltration of the Screen Writers Guild and other unions in the movie industry. It was at this time that the Hollywood Ten defied the committee and subsequently were convicted of contempt of Congress and sent to prison.
Mr. McCarthy was first elected to the Senate in 1948 and gave his first speech charging that there were communists in the State Department in February 1950. By that time, China had fallen to the communists and Alger Hiss had been exposed as a Soviet spy and convicted of perjury for denying it under oath. The Hollywood Ten and others who had been identified as unrepentant members of the Communist Party had been denied employment in the movie industry. …