Kerry Washington, the star of Shonda Rhimes’ wildly popular Thursday-night show Scandal, is about to get even bigger with a new project on HBO.
Washingtonhas been announced as the star of an upcoming TV movie about Anita Hill, according to The Hollywood Reporter. The telepic, which is being developed by HBO Films and has a tentative title of Confirmation, will chronicle the nomination hearings held for Supreme Court justice Clarence Thomas in 1991.
Thomas’ nomination that year by the first President Bush shook up the country after Hill accused the judge of sexual harassment in a leaked FBI interview. Hill was grilled by Senators about the allegations at Thomas’ confirmation hearing and lambasted by the judge himself.
Washington will play the part of Anita Hill and writer Susannah Grant will be responsible for the script and executive producing the project. Washington herself will also work as an executive producer alongside the CEO of Groundswell Productions, Michael London, and the company’s production president, Janice Williams.
Hollywood Reporter claims that the HBO project could take precedence over Washington’s role in a feature film called Unforgettable while she’s currently away from the Scandal set.
The news comes as HBO readies the rollout of its internet-streaming service HBO Go and plans for the next season of the sprawling fantasy show Game of Thrones.
Although the U.S. Supreme Court was “once a leader in the world” in the battle for racial equality, recent decisions by the high court undermine its role in solving a “real racial problem” in America, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg explained in an interview with The National Law Journal last Wednesday.
Citing recent events in Ferguson, Missouri, and racially biased stop-and-frisk policies, Ginsburg reflected on the perpetuation of racial segregation in America, comparing the challenges with those of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community.
“Once [gay] people began to say who they were, you found that it was your next-door neighbor or it could be your child, and we found people we admired,” she said. “That understanding still doesn’t exist with race; you still have separation of neighborhoods, where the races are not mixed. It’s the familiarity with people who are gay that still doesn’t exist for race and will remain that way for a long time as long as where we live remains divided.”
But instead of upholding the court’s history as a powerful stalwart against racial discrimination, the Roberts court’s recent decisions upholding affirmative action bans and restricting voting rights have not “helped” the country advance, Ginsburg explained.
“What’s amazing is how things have changed,” Ginsburg said, recalling the landmark 1971 decision of Griggs v. Duke Power Co., in which the Supreme Court unanimously held that employer policies that look neutral on paper can still constitute discrimination if they disproportionately harm minorities in practice. “It was a very influential decision and it was picked up in England. That’s where the court was heading in the ’70s.”
Singling out the Voting Rights Act as the most powerful law “in terms of making people count in a democracy,” Ginsburg reiterated her opposition to the court’s majority 2013 decision in Shelby County v. Holder, which struck down a key provision that helped safeguard against racial discrimination in voting laws.