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The first systematic Hollywood blacklist was instituted on November 25, 1947, the day after ten writers and directors were cited for contempt of Congress for refusing to testify before the House Un-American Activities Committee.A group of studio executives, acting under the aegis of the Association of Motion Picture Producers, fired the artists - the so-called Hollywood Ten - and made what has become known as the Waldorf Statement.Dies said he would "clear" all those who co-operated by meeting with him in what he called "executive session".Within two weeks of the grand jury leak, all those on the list except for actress Jean Muir had met with the HUAC chairman.For the survey of unproduced screenplays, see Black List (survey).The Hollywood blacklist - as the broader entertainment industry blacklist is generally known - was the practice of denying employment to screenwriters, actors, directors, musicians, and other American entertainment professionals during the mid-20th century because they were accused of having Communist ties or sympathies.

The blacklist lasted until 1960, when Dalton Trumbo, a Communist Party member from 1943 to 1948 and member of the Hollywood Ten, was credited as the screenwriter of the highly successful film Exodus, and later publicly acknowledged by actor Kirk Douglas for writing the screenplay for the movie Spartacus.On June 22, 1950, a pamphlet entitled Red Channels was published.Focused on the field of broadcasting, it identified 151 entertainment industry professionals in the context of "Red Fascists and their sympathizers".Artists were barred from work on the basis of their membership, alleged membership in, or sympathy with the Communist Party USA, or their refusal to assist investigations into the party's activities.Even during the period of its strictest enforcement, from the late 1940s through to the late 1950s, the blacklist was rarely made explicit or verifiable, but it directly damaged the careers of scores of individuals working in the film industry.

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