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Skirball Cultural Center

Hollywood Screenwriters: From the Blacklist to Today's WGA Strike

Hosted by Ben Mankiewicz and Co-Presented with PEN America

Public Programs | Words and Ideas

A crowd of people standing together holding signs that read Writers Guild of America On Strike

Picket line for the Writers Guild of America strike, 2023. Photo by Replysixty at English Wikipedia, public domain, via Wikimedia Commons.

Hear from film critic Ben Mankiewicz, screenwriter Liz Hsiao Lan Alper, journalist Gary Baum, film executive Franklin Leonard, and documentarian Eddie Muller about the critical connections between the studios’ response to labor struggles and union demands during the Blacklist and now. 

This is a past program

This program took place on
Sunday, June 4, 2023

About the Program

How does the legacy of the Blacklist live on in Hollywood today? This panel discussion co-presented by the Skirball Cultural Center and PEN America will examine the issues most important to Hollywood writers today as well as the critical connections between the studios’ response to labor struggles and union demands both then and now.  

Hosted by film critic and host of Turner Classic Movies Ben Mankiewicz, the panel includes:

  • Liz Hsiao Lan Alper, screenwriter (The Rookie, Ballard); Writers Guild of America West board member; and co-founder of #PayUpHollywood, a grassroots movement that advocates for fair pay, safe workplaces, and better treatment for support staffers and assistants in the entertainment industry
  • Gary Baum, a senior writer at The Hollywood Reporter, where he publishes features and accountability reporting centered on the entertainment business
  • Franklin Leonard, film executive and founder of The Black List, a yearly publication featuring Hollywood’s most popular unproduced screenplays
  • Eddie Muller, a documentarian currently working on a film about the Blacklist

Arrive early or stay after to view the exhibitions! 

Blacklist: The Hollywood Red Scare explores the history and impact of the Hollywood Red Scare and its contemporary implications for civil liberties, propaganda, and shifting definitions of American patriotism. And don't miss Peter Krasnow: Breathing Joy and Light and Visions and Values while you're here.

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