William H. Hays

Hays served as President of the Motion Picture Producers and Distributors of America from 1922 until his retirement in 1945.

The Labor Defender wrote of William Harrison Hays in November 1927:

Will Hays is the czar of moviedom. He decides what shall be shown on the motion picture screens throughout the country. Ostensibly his job is to see that nothing salacious or indecent is produced at Hollywood so that the morals of tens of millions of movie-goers shall not be corrupted.

Recently, however, Hays showed his hand as a labor-baiting censor. The Exhibitor’s Herald, a motion picture trade journal carried a news item to the effect that all news reels taken of the Sacco-Vanzetti demonstrations, and so forth, are to be destroyed.

Thus all cinema records of this world-famous case will be lost to the working class forever. Not only are the prints to be destroyed but the negatives have been ordered to be burned also.

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