It’s hard to believe that it’s been 24 years since the explosive Clarance Thomas confirmation hearings that brought the issue of sexual harassment into the national spotlight. Since then Anita Hill has stayed out of the spotlight, which I don’t blame her considering how she got dragged. One of the most appalling things I have ever witnessed was all the old white guys in Congress grilling Anita Hill like she was some sort of ‘ho. What was completely lost in the hearings was that Clarence Thomas was grossly under-qualified to sit in the chair that once held civil rights lion Thurgood Marshall. Thomas got his spot on the Supreme Court and Anita got her character assassinated by David Brock in his book The Real Anita Hill. Brock has since retracted his hit piece, admitting that he lied like a kitchen rug, but the damage had been done.
In April HBO will show Confirmation, which we are promised is a more even handed look at the controversy, not that it would be hard. Kerry Washington will play Anita Hill and as she confessed during the recent Television Critics Association winter press tour, she was terrified to play a living person:
“I was terrified. Portraying somebody who’s real is a different kind of responsibility, especially when they’re alive.That significance was not lost on me both as an actor and as a producer, wanting all of these characters to feel real and to matter as much as these people do.”
Kerry met with Anita as part of her research:
“She is very private. I felt like that was also something that she and really shared. The idea of the circumstances of your life thrusting you on the public eye when its not necessary shared. That was something we were really able to bond on.”
Kerry is also executive producing, so here’s hoping they get he story right and some people will see Anita wasn’t some crazy ‘ho, but a thoughtful, intelligent, private woman who didn’t deserve the crap sandwich she was handed by the white establishment.