It seems everyone already has an opinion about the upcoming HBO movie “Confirmation” about the sexual harassment allegations raised against Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas. Republicans involved in the 1991 proceedings have called it biased toward Anita Hill, Thomas’s accuser; while Kerry Washington, the actress who plays Hill and who executive-produced the movie, maintains that it’s not.
But what about Hill, the woman at the center of the drama? Hill, who is now a professor at Brandeis University, spoke Thursday at a forum at American University and revealed conflicted feelings about the movie.
When she first heard about the project, she told the students in the audience, she was skeptical. “Hollywood takes a story and it doesn’t necessarily end up being the story that you know to be the truth.” She decided, though, to participate after realizing she would rather at least “know what was going on.”
Hill met for hours with Washington and writer Susannah Grant, and she read an early script, though she wasn’t involved in the production. She said Washington asked a lot of questions to prepare for the role but also did plenty of independent research about her.
Hill never said, exactly, what she thinks of the flick, but it seems she’s somewhere between giving it a thumbs up and breaking out the rotten tomatoes. Her fear, she said, was that the story remains a “he said, she said” tale — though she admits that’s not the film’s fault.
Hill maintains that the Senate Judiciary Committee’s investigation and confirmation process, led by then-Sen. Joseph R. Biden Jr., was flawed. The film just reflected that, she said. “I’m not looking for a film to take sides,” she said. “We can’t know from the movie [what actually happened] because the process was set up for you not to know.”
And no matter her opinion of the final product, she’s now a fan of the woman who portrays her.
“She’s a very smart woman,” Hill said, nodding to the dearth of women and minorities in Hollywood. “She’s capable and I think is going to be doing more producing. … Hollywood has some issues that are fairly well publicized of late, and she’s the kind of person with the kind of mind and values to actually do much better content than what’s currently available.”