Hollywood ten

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The Hollywood Ten was a group of American screenwriters, actors, and directors, alleged members of the Communist Party, who were convicted of contempt of Congress during the height of the Red Scare.

In October of 1947, they appeared before, and refused to cooperate with, the House Committee on Un-American Activities, which was investigating Communist influence in the Hollywood labor unions. As a result, the United States House of Representatives voted 346 to 17 on that November 24 to approve citations of contempt. They were convicted in 1948.

Specifically, they were cited for contempt for their efforts to disrupt the committee's proceedings by making political statements while refusing to answer questions put to them by the committee concerning their Communist affiliations and activities. Among the questions they refused to answer were: "Are you a member of the [ Screen Writers Guild]?" and "Are you now or have you ever been a member of the Communist Party?". Their unsuccessful defense was based on First Amendment claims. Following unsuccessful appeals and denial of review by the Supreme Court, they served 6-month (in two cases) or 1-year prison terms in 1950.

On November 25, 1947 (the day after the full House approved citations of contempt) they were "blacklisted" by the major Hollywood producers, who declared publicly that the ten would be fired or suspended and not rehired until they were acquitted or purged of contempt and had sworn that they were not Communists. Because of their notoriety, they were unable to obtain work in the American fi