In September and October 1947, HUAC called a number of Hollywood writers, directors, actors, and producers to testify. They were a distinguished lot, responsible for some of Hollywood's best films of the previous decade.
Facing the committee, celebrities who were accused of having radical political associations had little chance to defend themselves. The Hollywood Ten were cited for contempt of Congress and served jail terms ranging from six months to a year. The studios compiled a Hollywood blacklist, a list of people whom employers agree not to hire. Many other entertainment figures were added to the blacklist simply because they seemed subversive or they opposed the idea of a blacklist.