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Ava DuVernay on Trump and Mass Incarceration: ‘He Feels It’s a Business’

Following a screening of her documentary “13th” Sunday night, director Ava DuVernay addressed the election of Donald Trump and the implications of his imminent presidency as it pertains to the subject matter of her film, which details the prison industrial complex in America.

“He’s addressed his views about it. He’s addressed a lack of empathy for imprisoned and incarcerated people,” DuVernay said, in a post-screening Q&A moderated by Oprah Winfrey at the Museum of Tolerance in Los Angeles. “He’s talked about the industry around it. He’s ‘very good at business,’ and he feels that it’s a business. Stocks for the private prison industry rose by over 50% the day after his election. So folks are betting on the fact that he will not just continue but increase that part of the business.”

In earlier remarks, Winfrey called the film “a wake-up call” and “the ultimate in storytelling and activism … You come away from this film and you feel differently about what justice and injustice looks like.”

DuVernay said she expects that the bleak status quo outlined in “13th” will only continue or worsen under Trump, “unless we demand something different.”

View two clips from the Q&A below.


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