This week the Writer’s Guild of America tried to right some decades- old wrongs by correcting the credits on movies written by blacklisted writers during the McCarthy era. At the time, the writers, thought to be communists, were kicked out of the industry because of how they might poison the minds of impressionable Americans.
Of course, there has never been the slightest hint that any effective red-baiting was accomplished by these artists. The most notable of the initial group of blacklisted writers was Dalton Trumbo, whose commie scribblings brought us such patriotic fare as "Thirty Seconds Over Tokyo." The newly restored credits include such subversive films as "Born Free" and "The Robe."
Still, we like to think of our culture as being beyond such petty Constitution tromping. Then along comes the county commission in Charlotte, N.C., which just pulled its funding of the local arts board. The commission apparently was appalled that tax monies helped fund a stage production of the AIDS-themed and Pulitzer Prize-winning "Angels in America."
Sure, this is Jesse Helms land we’re talking about. But one must wonder how different things are elsewhere. During its spin around the country last year, the national tour of "Angels" found a home in such cities as Melbourne and Clearwater, if not Orlando. Next season, however, the Civic Theater will stage its own production.
So cheers to the Civic for showing we’re at least as cosmopolitan as Melbourne. And, while we’re at it, jeers to Bernard Gordon. Who is Gordon? He just happens to be the blacklisted writer who finally received his credit for "Hellcats of the Navy," the film which, by the way, brought together Ronald and Nancy Reagan and started this whole mess all over again anyway.