Rolling Stone Interviews Anita Hill About Tonight’s Premiere of HBO Movie “Confirmation”


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As the current crop of idiots in Washington D.C. are preparing to possibly block the confirmation process for a Supreme Court Justice to replaced the recently deceased Justice Antonin Scalia, HBO is debuting a movie about all the hoopla surrounding the confirmation of Justice Clarence Thomas.

It’s one of those things that people will be talking about around the water cooler on Monday and I thought y’all might like to talk about it. There has been a lot of bitching and complaining from some of the politicians involved about the accuracy (or lack there of) of the film.

Rolling Stone has a good interview with Anita Hill that you can read in its entirety here.  I excerpted a few of the questions below.

How does the finished film compare with your memories of the hearings?
I will say that [Confirmation] is not just about my memories. One of the things that occurred in 1991, when people were watching it: This was almost like political reality TV being played out in front of people, on their television sets and on radio. What we didn’t know at the time were some of the things that were going on behind the scenes. I knew what was happening with my team and how hard we were working, but we didn’t know — I certainly didn’t know — what was going on on behalf of Clarence Thomas behind the scenes, and that’s one of the things that the film truly does bring that I don’t think most people know. That’s a fresh part of the story.


ConfirmationFormer Sens. John Danforth (Clarence Thomas’ former boss and patron in the Senate) and Alan Simpson (who sat on the Senate Judiciary Committee) are among the politicians who have threatened to sue HBO over what they characterize as the film’s inaccuracies. What’s your reaction to that?
Well, there are things that I think I had to come to grips with: That this is an adaptation, it’s not a documentary. It’s not a documentary. There were, for example, composite characters, the sort of thing that, as a lawyer and a professor and as someone who was involved, kind of bothered me. Language that was used or things that were portrayed weren’t exactly the way that people were behaving in that moment.

I don’t really know what they’re taking issue with — that’s not my concern — but my sense is that if either of them [Danforth or Simpson] were doing the film, it would be different. But the same is true of me. If I were doing the film, there would be a different focus. But I think we have to be clear that much of the information that is conveyed in that film — which might be controversial — is very well-documented from a whole variety of sources. So, I’m not quite sure what it is they are taking issue with, but the documentation was there.

You’ve said in the past that Joe Biden did “a disservice to me, a disservice more importantly, to the public”? And since the film came out there have been reports that the vice president (or intermediaries for him) lobbied to make changes to the film’s portrayal of Biden. Did his portrayal in the film ring true to you?
In terms of my interaction with him? Yes, the portrayal does ring true. It was really kind of eerie, I think, how Greg Kinnear was able to bring him to life. When you see his character portrayed on the screen, it really does give you a feeling that you’re listening to Joe Biden, the senator — Joe Biden at the time. I can only say in terms of my interaction, and the interactions with people from my team, that the portrayal is accurate.

The few reviews I’ve read so far have  not been particularly excited about this movie so I’m not recommending it. I am going to tune in just to follow the herd and will probably fall asleep before it is over.

It that happens I’ll need to wake up and read the comments to find out what y’all thing. 

Confirmation premieres tonight at 8 pm (NPT) on HBO and stars Kerry Washington and Wendell Pierce in the two primary roles with a whole host of other folks you’ll know.


Filed under Entertainment News, HBO

18 responses to “Rolling Stone Interviews Anita Hill About Tonight’s Premiere of HBO Movie “Confirmation”

  1. tamaratattles

    Wow, That was sort of depressing, really. At the time that this was all going on I was in grad school I think. I wasn’t paying that much attention, but there was no way to really avoid knowing it was going on.

  2. Calipatti

    I recall watching her testimony. The questions they asked, how they were asked were disgusting and belittling.
    During her testimony was when I saw our government was run by power hungry old white men.
    Anita Hills testimony changed my thinking on how our government was run and who really was deciding for me.
    Nasty narrow-minded old white men.

    I recall feeling embarrassed at some of the questions those old white men asked.her. She was so dignified and without flinching answered them.

    • deborah

      I agree with you. I no longer doubt Prof. Hill. The performances in this movie was excellent .

    • Calipatti

      My comment needs editing, wish I had done it.
      Anita Hill with her dignity, truthfulness and intelligence is the poster Lady that many young women today could model themselves after.

    • Indychick

      totally agreeing with you Calipatti, just remembering that televised victim witch hunt makes me angry,,

  3. It makes me wonder how Clarence Thomas came out virtually unscathed.. or did he experience some form of .. is punishment the word? I did not follow this story, but I remember something about a coke can that was disgusting.

    • Indychick

      No LisaPat he was i remember it 1/2 of America thought he lied and 1/2 thought she lied. but congress found nothing wrong with his actions so they (congress) confirmed him.

  4. I lived the confirmation. I will not look t it, but saying this I believe everything Anita Hill said about Uncle Tom, now one of the Supreme Court Justices of the United States.

    I really don’t care for him or his ideology.

  5. The questions they asked her then wouldn’t fly today.

  6. I watched some of it when it happened but what I sadly missed was the testimony of the outrageously arrogant John Doggett. His testimony was boiled down to one sentence last night. But when they showed Professor Hill coming back to Oklahoma to that mountain of mail, it reminded me that I sent her a card of support. Incredibly brave woman.

  7. Matzah60

    I think the very same questions would come to light in 2016. There have been many legislative changes put in place to discourage harassment, particularly sexual harassment, but the players in Congress presently are not all that different. The big difference is that there are more women serving in Congress. In 1992 and 1993, there was a surge of women campaigning for Congress and an increase in the number of women who were eventually elected.

    The movie did a fairly good job. It’s only two hours and didn’t try to take sides. It was promoted as a presentation of the facts and did not want to take sides, however the overlying feeling after watching is that Anita Hill’s professional and personal integrity had been smeared. The Oklahoma Law School where she taught tormented her in such a manner as to force Hill to resign.

  8. PopcornAndVodka

    I was going to post about being sad that I didn’t have HBO and couldn’t watch it, but I DID order HBO last month *SMACKS STUPID STUPID HEAD* so there are a TON of things I can see now!
    Way to waste all the cable money, Stupid Head!!

    That said, I was a young pretty working girl during the hearings, and the men in my office didn’t know what to do with themselves. What’s this? We can’t joke? We can’t proposition? We have to go to Anti-Sexual Harrassment Classes now??? It completely blew their minds. And it took several years before anyone really took the idea seriously.

    Anyways, HECK YEAH I’ll watch this!

  9. IMO

    Anita Hill’s dignity, professionalism, integrity and honesty were riveting during the hearings. She exuded class and fortitude. I knew she was telling the truth. When her entire family came into the hearing to sit behind her, I was totally overwhelmed by their dignity.

  10. Sweet T

    I don’t have HBO so I can’t watch. But I am forever thankful for her strength to fight about this publicly. Times have changed from this event. I no longer have to listen to men’s sexual fantasies about me at work and even on the street.

  11. jen

    I really want to watch it. I suppose at some point HBO will release it somewhere to be seen? Thanks for the post regarding it.

  12. Deb in SF

    I don’t have HBO either and I’m not sure I would watch it if I did. I was glued to the TV during the hearings and that was enough. The fact that Thomas was confirmed still boggles my mind, and he has proven to be one of the most incompetent Supreme Court justices ever. Not an intellectual for sure, no insight, and just a generally despicable person in my opinion. Feh.

  13. joanne

    Oh, the memories. In 1991, I was turning 40, going through my second divorce, fighting a hovering deep depression and I followed the hearings very closely. Watching this spectacle, which it was (I can guaranty it was the first time ‘pubic hair’ was uttered, repeatedly, on daytime and primetime network television – not to mention that it was said on the US Senate floor!) animated my depleted self. At first, not necessarily in a positive way. I was enraged by many aspects of the proceedings, but I was absolutely horrified at the way these white men, our ‘esteemed’ elected officials, were talking down to Ms. Hill; their overall tone, not showing her any level of respect she had deservedly earned (for her professional and academic achievements and for having the guts to honestly testify). She was poised and a class act during the entire ordeal, something few people could have managed with such dignity (particularly many of her interrogators). In spite of the fact that I was totally disillusioned and disgusted with the politics involved (and I was no novice to politics), I was enervated and inspired by this woman and her amazing display of strength.

    Regarding the ‘adaptation, not documentary’: I really like Wendell Pierce too much to see him as Clarence Thomas, who I loathe. His Honor (and I use that term loosely) has not written one, not one, single opinion on any decision before the SCOTUS since he took his seat, 25 years ago (he may have recently written something after Scalia’s ‘untimely’ passing on a case the Court would have been split on anyway). We did get a small glimpse of his right-wing, dingbat wife last night who supports some – what I would call – extreme conservative causes. She also appears to be a ball-buster, who enjoys her husband’s status more than he does. He has been purposefully trying to fly beneath the radar for his entire tenure on the Court. I take great satisfaction that so many people, who were clueless, or to young to know about his questionable ‘Confirmation’, will be enlightened.

    Sorry for the diatribe, and I could probably go on for ever, but the un-Husband is weary of my screed. (I still need him to do a little yard work when he’s not playing golf, so I pick my battles.) I appreciate having this space to vent. Tamara, I often learn so much here, especially acronyms that are part of the current culture that I failed to get the memo, so I Goggle and gain new knowledge. So, I was fascinated when I saw NPT as a time zone for the HBO ‘not documentary’. The only thing I found as a definition was ‘Non-Proliferation Treaty’ (concerning nuclear weapons – which I’m all for) or the ‘National Pool Tile’ group (comprised of folks involved with swimming pools). Am I missing another meaning? I’m older than dirt, Darlin’ (40 in 1991), but I rely on your wisdom and am a loyal reader.

  14. I won 2nd place as Anita Bryant at a costume party back in the day. The clincher was I cleaned out my comb and glued the hairball to the top of a Coke can. (I think that would be considered offensive today?

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