Famous Publisher's Son Apologizes for 'Hollywood Holocaust'

4798 W.R. Wilkerson acknowledges his publisher father's role in stirring up anti-communist fervor in the 1940s and 50s.

This 1939 photo provided by the Wilkerson Archives shows Billy Wilkerson. The son of Hollywood Reporter founder Billy Wilkerson, W.R. Wilkerson III, is apologizing for his father's and the trade paper's role in the 1947 Hollywood Blacklist that destroyed the careers of writers, actors and directors accused of having Communist ties. He offers his ìsincerest apologies and deepest regrets to those who were victimized by this unfortunate incident.î (AP Photo/Wilkerson Archives, George Hurrell) ORG XMIT: CAPH639 (Photo: George Hurrell AP)
The Hollywood Reporter, one of Hollywood's oldest trade publications, has come clean on what is being billed as its "publication's dark past."

W.R. Wilkerson III, the son of the trade's founder and publisher Billy Wilkerson, has apologized for his father's early role in the notorious Hollywood blacklist.

Wilkerson made the written apology in the current issue of The Hollywood Reporter.

"It's possible, had my father lived long enough, that he would have apologized for creating something that devastated so many careers," Wilkerson wrote. "On behalf of my family, and particularly my late father, I wish to convey my sincerest apologies and deepest regrets to those who were victimized by this unfortunate incident."

According to Wilkerson, his father began the anti-communist campaign -- which targeted members of the Hollywood community for alleged communist ties -- in 1946 to settle personal scores. It "began as a schoolyard spat with the movie brass (and) snowballed out of control," writes Wilkerson.

Source: USA Today | Bryan Alexander
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