A debate about blacklisting arose yesterday in a thread about the passing of R. Lee Ermey. Ermey claimed a few years back that he’d been blackballed by Hollywood for expressing some rightwing, anti-Obama beliefs during a Toys for Tots rally in December 2010. He apologized the following month but allegedly endured some professional turn-downs regardless. I posted two or three thoughts about blacklisting and karma and whatnot, which received some pushback. For clarity’s sake here they are again:
1. The Right wrote the book on political blacklisting in the late ’40s and especially the ’50s. So much so that they kinda “own” blacklisting in perpetuity, as they put many good people of conscience and principle through considerable misery, and thereby earned a good amount of poison karma for themselves, and so any blacklisting that comes back at their descendants is just too effing bad. Blacklisting is a bad thing, but they can’t deny the discriminatory karma that’s in their blood. If you hatch ugly eggs, you can’t complain when the chickens come home to roost, even if it’s a half-century or more later.
2. Speaking for myself I’d never be in favor of denying anyone work if they’re good at their job or craft or even if they’re less than talented — no blacklisting under any circumstances! Jon Voight‘s views may be reprehensible, but he’s a first-rate actor and should never be shit-canned because he said some appalling things about Barack Obama. Good creative ferment is all that matters.
3. But given the UNDENIABLE FACT that the Right created and implemented the toxic blacklisting of certain Hollywood persons on the Left during the late ’40s and ’50s, and because the evil karma serum has been generationally passed down through blood and genetics, Righties have NO LEG TO STAND ON if they want to cry foul. They can’t. If they run into any anti-Right blacklisting or discrimination they’ll have to TAKE IT and LIKE IT because their souls are stained. Because their grandfathers brought horror and hell into the lives of many good and principled directors, screenwriters and actors back in the day. Somewhere in heaven Dalton Trumbo, Carl Foreman and Michael Wilson are listening and noting the irony.
4. Once again, blacklisting is a lousy thing to even consider, much less implement, but Righties have no ethical leg to stand on IF and WHEN political blackballing were to rear its ugly head in their backyards. In a serial or generational sense they own it, their grandfathers wrote the book and they have to take the karma like men.