News and Commentary

Tom Hanks: Do Not Screen ‘The Post’ At White House

Actor Tom Hanks has warned against screening his upcoming Oscar-bait film “The Post” at the White House in protest of President Trump.

“The Post,” directed by Steven Spielberg and starring Meryl Streep and Tom Hanks, will tackle a variety of leftist causes, from feminism to the Vietnam war to the absurd notion that mainstream journalists are objective crusaders of truth.

Hoping to supplant “All The Presidents Men” as the standard for heroic journalists movies, “The Post” tells the story of The Washington Post’s Kay Graham (Meryl Streep), America’s first female publisher, and Ben Bradlee (Tom Hanks), and their hard-fought quest to publish the Pentagon Papers that detailed the United States’ covert activities during the Vietnam conflict going all the way back to the Eisenhower administration.

Sitting down with The Hollywood Reporter, the veteran actor said that Spielberg’s film carries a “timely” message meant for the Trump administration, saying there are eerie parallels between him and President Nixon, who threatened The Washington Post with charges of treason for publishing the papers.

There used to be this concept, [as the later Senator] Daniel Moynihan used to say: ‘You’re entitled to your own opinions, but not your own facts;” Facts are irrefutable. Well, it turns out people are saying: ‘No, facts are not irrefutable. We can decide whatever facts that we want, that we would like.’ Right now, without a doubt, there are people in power trying to — if not quash or stop the right to publication, [then at least] denigrate it to the point [where] they are saying there is no truth to it whatsoever. And there are stories out there that are the truth, [in] organs of the Fourth Estate like the New York Times and the Washington Post.

To protest Trump, Hanks says that his movie should not be screened at the White House and that he would avoid such a screening if it did.

That’s an interesting question. I don’t think I would. Because I think that at some point — look, I didn’t think things were going to be this way last November. I would not have been able to imagine that we would be living in a country where neo-Nazis are doing torchlight parades in Charlottesville [Va.] and jokes about Pocahontas are being made in front of the Navajo code talkers. And individually we have to decide when we take to the ramparts. You don’t take to the ramparts necessarily right away, but you do have to start weighing things. You may think: “You know what? I think now is the time.’ This is the moment where, in some ways, our personal choices are going to have to reflect our opinions. We have to start voting, actually, before the election. So, I would probably vote not to go.

It is doubtful that Spielberg’s movie will commemorate the two million Vietnamese people that fled their country as a result of the Communist takeover when the United States withdrew from the region in 1975, not to mention the three million people murdered by Communist dictator Pol Pot in neighboring Cambodia.