1949: Boycott Pictures of Red Stooges, Is Plea

But the bankers, lawyers and press agents of this industry, thinking only of box-office, feared the power of Communists and their allies and sympathizers; they feared strikes and picket lines outside of theaters. They feared the gossip columnists and the critics of new pictures. They counseled a hush-hush policy.

Kentucky New Era, March 24, 1949

Two groups of Hollywood citizens went down to Washington more than a year ago to speak their minds: one group was subpoenaed by the House Committee on Un-American Activities; the other group went voluntarily to tell of the Communist infiltration of the motion-picture industry.

The group which may be called pro-Communist generally refused to answer whether they were Communists on constitutional grounds that they may not be questioned as to their beliefs, and some, that a reply to such a question would incriminate them. Most have been held in contempt of the Congress of the United States.

Neither a challenge by a congressional committee nor indictment by a grand jury establishes guilt. They do, however, call attention to activities, to overt acts, to suspicions and assumptions. Some of these questioned by the House Committee on Un-American Activities have been Communists publicly, have followed the Communist party lines through all their mazes and gyrations. Others have been consistently pro-Russian and anti-American.

The other group, who voluntarily went to Washington to support Americanism, have been penalized for their patriotism. Prior to the hearings, they were warned not to go. They were told that it would hurt the motion-picture industry if the country realized or exaggerated the Communist infiltration into Hollywood. They were told not to give aid or comfort to the House Committee on Un-American Activities. Most of them are members of the motion picture alliance and the American-Jewish League against Communism – two of the most vigorous anti-Communist organizations in Los Angeles.


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