“For me it is just frustrating all of the distractions that are going on,” he tells Variety‘s “PopPolitics” on SiriusXM. “It is so easy to forget Charlottesville was only a year ago. A woman lost her life, and people were injured. It is so easy to forget the border. It is so easy to forget women, they are fighting for their rights and equality. It is so easy to forget people are being shot in their backs like dogs in the streets by white racist cops. It is so easy to forget these things, things that are echoed in this film, literally.”
The movie tells the story of Ron Stallworth, the first African-American officer on the Colorado Springs police force, who infiltrates the local chapter of the Ku Klux Klan and even becomes one of its members. It is based on a true story and is set in the 1970s, but the movie refers to the 2017 Charlottesville riots to show the similarities to today.
Hawkins, who grew up in Washington, said that the white nationalist protests happening this weekend near the White House are of concern to him because people “aren’t coming to actually talk. I’m sure there are people who are coming to have a dialog, but we are not actually talking to each other. We’re talking at each other.
Popular on Variety
“I think that culture of just insensitivity, it starts at the top. And I mean that politically,” he says. “It starts at the top. And I grew up in D.C. — politics, we were around it.”
He said he doesn’t know what the message of the white nationalists will be. “Everybody has a right to say what they want to say, but repercussions are real,” he says.
He said that Lee did not make the movie to “demonize, or whatever his personal beliefs are. He wanted all of us, not just me, but Klan members, to be full dimensional characters. He was not just interested in making a mockery of them, because that is not the dialog.”
Protests in D.C.
Nikki Schwab of The New York Post and David Cohen of Variety talk about the effectiveness of protests at the White House, as Rosie O’Donnell joined demonstrators on Monday with a short speech and a handful of Broadway songs.
‘The Miseducation of Cameron Post’ and Conversion Therapy
Chloe Grace Moretz and director Desiree Akhavan talk about “The Miseducation of Cameron Post,” along with Mathew Shurka. Moretz portrays a teen grappling with her same-sex attraction who is sent to a religious based conversion therapy camp, whose leaders use questionable psychological practices in an effort to make their students straight. Shurka went through conversion therapy and is now an activist urging an end to such practices.