In 1971, top editors at the Washington Post published a series of stories about the Pentagon Papers, despite President Richard Nixon’s threats. Today, President Donald Trump calls almost all media “fake news” and has tweeted that major media organizations should lose their broadcasting licenses. One of his top aides introduced the world to “alternative facts” on a national news broadcast. So if you’re Tom Hanks, who plays famed editor Ben Bradlee in Steven Spielberg’s extremely timely new movie The Post — about the process of publishing stories about the Papers in 1971 — do you take your movie to this White House if you’re issued a screening invitation? According to a new interview with The Hollywood Reporter, the actor would probably opt out.
“I don’t think I would,” Hanks told THR, “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 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.” Hanks knew Bradlee and met Post publisher Katharine Graham just before she died, and he’s not here to support attacks on the First Amendment by a sitting U.S. president. “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.”