“These are conversations people in power are not interested in having,” said Kerry Washington, star of HBO’s Confirmation. In the film, released earlier this month, Washington portrays Anita Hill, a well known Oklahoma attorney and college professor who in 1991 testified before the Senate, that Supreme Court nominee Clarence Thomas, made sexual advances toward her as her boss.
“We were forced to talk about gender, gender inequality, and sexual harassment,” Washington said, speaking about the film during the 2016 Women in the World Summit. “We were forced to talk about race, and we were forced to talk about power and access. From the moment it was over, America wanted to sweep it under the rug.”
If you haven’t already, it’s essential you catch the film. For many millennials, we were simply babies as Hill testified on live television before more than 50 million viewers, not to mention, directly to an all white, male committee. The feature allows us to again, watch Hill as portrayed by Washington be persecuted throughout the trial, plundering through the intersectionality of sex, race, and politics. Through critical moments, viewers can see issues of race being thrown forward after Thomas describes the trial as, “a high-tech lynching for uppity blacks,” essentially claiming Hill was only being used to discriminate against Thomas as a Black man.
However, what the film has really helped bring to light was how much worse women were treated before Hill’s trial in 1991. “She taught me a lot about the importance of using your voice and telling the truth,” said Washington. It’s important to everybody, no matter who you are, to feel like there’s room in the world for your truth.” Confirmation brings forth the main questions of – have things changed, and how much, and what continues to stop justice?
Kerry Washington is an unbelievable advocate, not only doing an amazing job at portraying Hill but showcasing the complex issues of race and gender throughout her press tour for the movie. Acting as both the executive producer and main lead in the film explained, “These ideas are so pervasive [in our society], the idea that it’s okay to victimize a victim when they come forward, these are things we have to be talking about.”
According to recent Cosmopolitan Magazine study, 1 out of 3 women between the ages of 18 to 34 are sexually harassed at work. And even recently, the study found that 70 percent of women who have been sexually harassed in the work place do not come forward.
It is critical to share our stories – everyone’s stories. The only way to bring light to injustice is to talk about it. As you can see in the short video below, after Anita Hill spoke out, the number of sexual harassment cases filed by The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) doubled.
Be sure to catch Confirmation streaming now on HBO!