In these difficult times, it can be easy to believe we are living in the darkest timeline. But even if the world were to end tomorrow, there, amidst the fire and rubble, one fact would remain that would leave us all with a measure of peace: At least Julia Roberts did not play Harriet Tubman in the historical drama Harriet. In an interview with Gregory Allen Howard, the film’s screenwriter and producer, he revealed that when he first started working on the film 25 years ago, in 1994, Roberts’s name was apparently bandied about for the titular role. “I was told how one studio head said in a meeting, ‘This script is fantastic. Let’s get Julia Roberts to play Harriet Tubman,’” Allen said. “When someone pointed out that Roberts couldn’t be Harriet, the executive responded, ‘It was so long ago. No one is going to know the difference.’” Extremely upsetting? Yes. Oddly comforting to know that Harriet could have been infinitely worse? Also yes.