Ron Stallworth
Ron Stallworth

'BlacKkKlansman': Ron Stallworth on How He Ignored Rules to Write the Story

“BlacKkKlansman” is set in the 1970s, but its nod to the present day, including the Charlottesville attacks, reminds author and detective Ron Stallworth that racism, sexual harassment, and even KKK head David Duke are far from being from institutions of the past.

“Even though it happened 40 years ago, the events are very similar to what’s happening right now, and that’s kind of sad,” said Stallworth, whose real story of infiltrating the KKK as a police officer inspired the film. He said the only way he wrote his memoir and eventually, the movie, was by ignoring instructions from higher-ups.

“I was ordered not to talk to anybody, to destroy the records and whatnot, the files, which I didn’t do, by the way,” Stallworth said. “That’s how the book was written, based on the official police reports, which I still possess.”

Stallworth spoke at Variety’s Screening Series Q&A for the film, along with stars Jon David Washington, Adam Driver, Laura Harrier, and Topher Grace.

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