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'Hollywood Reporter' prints apology over role in communist witch hunts

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© The Hollywood Reporter

The Hollywood Reporter has printed a formal apology for its role in the communist witch hunts of the 1940s and '50s.

W.R. Wilkerson III - the son of the paper's founder Billy Wilkerson - addressed his father's role in what he called "Hollywood's Holocaust" in the November 30 issue of the publication.

Wilkerson described how his father attempted to enact revenge on the movie studios that shunned him by accusing actors, writers and directors of being communists in a bid to destroy their careers.

This cause was later taken up on a nationwide level by Senator Joseph McCarthy, who spearheaded the communist witch hunt across America.

"No-one has ever apologised to the victims of this holocaust. So on the eve of this dark 65th anniversary, I feel an apology is necessary," Wilkerson wrote.

"It's possible, had my father lived long enough, that he would have apologised for creating something that devastated so many careers.

"On behalf of my family, and particularly my late father, I wish to convey my sincerest apologies and deepest regrets to those who were victimised by this unfortunate incident."

Billy Wilkerson, who is also credited with discovering actress Lana Turner, passed away in 1962.

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