The film is based on the real-life story of Ron Stallworth, the first black police officer in Colorado Springs, Colorado. During his time on the CSPD, Stallworth impersonated a white man, with the help of his partner Flip, to infiltrate the KKK. He even tricked grand wizard Duke in order to get intel on the local chapters’ terrorist plots. Stallworth is portrayed by John David Washington in the film, with Adam Driver as Flip.
Grace plays the duped KKK leader, which upset one person enough that they tracked down the actor’s phone number and left an angry message. According to TMZ, the anonymous caller called Grace a gay slur and said his role as Duke would “ruin race relations” in the U.S. Police took an incident report and are keeping tabs on the situation in case any specific threats are made against the '70s Show actor.
Grace himself struggled with the taxing role as a hateful, racist bigot. In order to decompress from filming, he edited all three Hobbit movies into one film. “I was so depressed,” Grace previously told IndieWire. “I was probably a terrible husband at the time. It was so disturbing to go home and turn on the news to see how his ideology was affecting us at the moment.”
Spike Lee emphasized the connection between Duke’s role in racism of the past and his role in current horrific events like Charlottesville during an appearance on Late Night with Seth Meyers. Check out that clip below.