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The Hollywood Ten included a group of screenwriters, actors, directors, and musicians who were denied employment because of their political beliefs or association. These individuals were banned from their work on the basis of their alleged membership or sympathy towards the American Communist party, involvement with liberal of humanitarian political causes, or refusal to assist federal investigations into Communist Party activities.
The first systematic Hollywood blacklist came in November 1947, the day after ten writers and directors were cited for contempt of Congress for refusing to give testimony to the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Un-American Activities, or HUAC. The motion picture studios, acting under the Motion Picture Association of America, announced the firing of the Hollywood Ten in what is called the Waldorf Statement.
Many members of the Hollywood Ten were fined and served federal prison sentences. Others travelled to Europe, since they had been barred from employment in much of the entertainment industry in the U.S., where they found work. The blacklist was effectively broken in 1960, when screenwriter Donald Trumbo was publicly acknowledged for the films Spartacus and Exodus. A number of those blacklisted, however still found it difficult to find work for years afterward.