Nov 20, 2012
By Scott Walker
The son of the founder of “The Hollywood Reporter” is apologizing for his father’s – and the paper’s – role in ruining many movie careers.
Billy Wilkerson founded The Hollywood Reporter in 1930. After the Second World War, he used the paper as a vehicle for a series of editorials attacking communist sympathizers and their influence in Hollywood. In 1947, a Hollywood Blacklist emerged as part of the communist witch hunts of the post-war era, destroying the careers of writers, actors and directors who were accused of having communist ties.
Billy Wilkerson’s son, Willie Wilkerson, calls the Blacklist era “Hollywood’s Holocaust.” He says that on the eve of the 65th anniversary of the list, an apology is necessary.
Willie Wilkerson says his father supported the Blacklist to exact revenge against the Hollywood power brokers who blocked his efforts to establish a movie studio in the 1920s.