From the JTA: Kirk Douglas, 94, is honored for breaking the Hollywood blacklist 50 years ago by hiring the screenwriter Dalton Trumbo for his film Spartacus. Trumbo had been blacklisted.
While Trumbo was not Jewish, six of the other Hollywood Ten were, and among many politicians and compilers of “suspect” lists, charges of being a New York or Hollywood “commie symp” served as the code word for Jew.
Along with Douglas, “Spartacus” also featured two other prominent Jews: director Stanley Kubrick and Howard Fast, also blacklisted, who wrote the original book. It was based on the life and death of the Thracian slave whose followers nearly overthrew the mighty Roman Republic in the Third Servile War of the first century BCE.
So, Douglas was asked, was the campaign against “politically unreliable” artists fueled, at least in part, by anti-Semitism? Of course, he answered.
“Listen, all my life I’ve always assumed that everybody I met was an anti-Semite unless he could prove otherwise,” he said….
That boldface line is the nut of the problem. My dad, who was blacklisted writer and friends of all the Hollywood Ten and who was a defiant witness before HUAC in 1951, was nine years older than Douglas but didn’t feel that way and, fortunately, didn’t educate his kids to feel that way either. One of the depressing things about this article is that it reminded me that Dalton Trumbo who wasn’t Jewish and who I also knew and greatly respected, wrote the screenplay for Exodus which is yet further evidence how taken the communist left was with Israel. So it went and so it goes.
By the way, here Douglas expresses his love for Israel, mentions that he has made four movies there and that Israel was in need of support from Americans…