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HBO's Confirmation, a film about the University of Oklahoma law professor Anita Hill (Kerry Washington) who accused Clarence Thomas of work place-based sexual harassment at the very end of his Supreme Court confirmation, has predictably sparked some controversy for its portrayal of certain politicians. Hill's testimony in 1991 launched an important nation-wide conversation about sexual harassment in the work place, but the proceedings were contentious, which is why it's no surprise that a film about them is too. In a recent interview, Washington upheld the movie's tasteful message and the consideration behind her role, asserting that the movie is not liberal propaganda.
In The Hollywood Reporter's interview Washington begins by explaining what drew her to the role in the first place. She remembers that she was 14 at the time of the actual proceedings and that it was the first time she saw her parents struggle to agree on a social matter. "I was really struck by my own sense of intersectionality and the awareness of belonging to more than one community and those instances where they may at times be at odds with each other," she said.
Washington also discussed how she prepared to take on the daunting role, which included conversations with Hill herself and studying televised court proceedings. When asked about the most personally challenging scene for Washington to portray, she was unable to narrow it down to just one: "To play somebody at the absolute most stressful, life-changing moment in their life? All of it was."
Washington then went on to discuss the controversy Confirmation has garnered, namely the politicians depicted in the film who claim the movie has an anti-Republican agenda. Summing it up beautifully, Washington maintains that she and the people behind this film had the utmost respect "for the humanity of so many of the players involved." She continued, "It's not a propaganda movie. It's a movie about complicated people in a really complex situation doing the best they could with the tools they had at the time."