The Writers Guild of America (WGA) announced Monday that it would officially restore screenwriting credit on 'Roman Holiday' to blacklisted Oscar-winning writer Dalton Trumbo. The film, which won Audrey Hepburn a Best Actress Oscar and launched the young actress' career, had been credited to Trumbo's friend Ian McLellan Hunter.
Trumbo, who died in 1976, had been a member of the 'Hollywood Ten,' a group of screenwriters and directors who were cited by the House Committee On Un-American Activities (HCUA) in November, 1947 for refusing to testify about their political affiliations. The group was publicly fired a few days later by the Motion Picture Association of America, and over the next decade Trumbo and his colleagues were forced to write under pseudonyms and give credit for their work to other artists.
Some were crowded out more effectively than Trumbo, the most prominent member of the group, who would go on to effectively overome the blacklist in 1960 by getting credit for writing the films 'Spartacus' and 'Exodus.'
Though Trumbo had been given a posthumous Academy Award for his work on 'Roman Holiday' in 1993, Monday's gesture from the WGA was intended to indicate once and for all that Trumbo's art has outlasted the HCUA's politics; The New York Times quotes WGA president Chris Keyser, who commented, "It is not in our power to erase the mistakes or the suffering of the past. But we can make amends."