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Hollywood Blacklists Recall a Terrible, Immoral, and Stupid Heritage

Blacklists should be avoided like the plague in Hollywood. But it seems, sadly, nobody there is listening to the sordid history of a town that rarely learns from its mistakes.

“If a man were permitted to make all the ballads he need not care who should make the laws of a nation.” This belief was attributed to Andrew Fletcher of Saltoun, a Scottish politician from the 17th and 18th centuries, and a wise man. If there is any modern equivalent to the ballad writer, it would be the movie business. Control who makes the movies, and even more importantly, who can act in them, and you control who has a voice in American culture–and who doesn’t.

Such power requires equal responsibility. But Hollywood thinks it’s immune from any accountability. Of course, it’s not.

You’d think that Hollywood would have learned this lesson 72 years ago when the House Committee on Un-American Activities attempted to force the “Hollywood Ten” to give up lists of communists, voting them in contempt of Congress, and sentencing them to jail and fines. By 1950, over 500 entertainers had been blacklisted or “greylisted” as known or suspected “subversives.” But Hollywood has not learned, or has forgotten this shameful period in its history.

Debra Messing, of “Will & Grace” fame, has joined a liberal chorus of politicians and media who want to “out” donors to President Donald Trump’s 2020 campaign, but in the context of running every last one of them out of the movie biz.

As awful as it is for Julián Castro’s brother Joaquin to provide a pretext for those who wish to harass, damage, or threaten business owners and individuals who donated to Trump 2020, it’s even more heinous for producers and actors in Hollywood to engage in this kind of blackballing.

On September 17, Trump plans to attend a Beverly Hills fundraiser. In response to this, Messing’s co-star Eric McCormack made his point very clearly: Blacklist those who attend.

John O’Hurley, who acted in “Seinfeld,” had this to say in response.

“Let me just say I’m embarrassed for both of them because I know them both, I’ve worked with Debra before. They’re both smart people… they do wonderful work,” he explained. “But, they’re pushing a case that falls apart from the sheer weight of its lunacy, as though the Hollywood community needs to be purged of this social and intellectual hygiene problem called conservative thinking. It underscores the fact that we aren’t receptive to a diversity of thought which is the exact opposite of what you feel the liberal way would be, and I find that obscene.”

Seinfeld’ star John O’Hurley slams ‘Will & Grace’ stars for ‘lunacy’ over Trump comments, Fox News, September 2, 2019

I think many in Hollywood would agree that conservative thinking, such as it is framed by support for Republicans, especially for Donald Trump, should be considered as subversive as being a communist was in 1947. I think they’d gladly join in a chorus of “impeach him!” as Democrats battle within their party over the next move.

And I think, despite the warnings echoing from their McCarthyite past, these same Hollywood figures, who themselves profit from capitalism and free markets, value the nuclear family, private educations and school choice for their own kids, would happily turn their own coworkers over to some Congressional inquiry, media star chamber, or rabid mobs, simply because those individuals donated to a political campaign.

Messing and those who support her are treading a dangerous path. Seeking to silence or damage careers because of politics is immoral, wrong, and stupid. Just think that they might be in the crosshairs on the next round, but they don’t think they will because they believe that liberals will always and forever control Hollywood.

They also believe–correctly–that control of Hollywood is a powerful tool in promoting some voices and silencing others. What they don’t understand is that one day, they may be called to account for their behavior.

Blacklists should be avoided like the plague in Hollywood. But it seems, sadly, nobody there is listening to the sordid history of a town that rarely learns from its mistakes.

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