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All In With Chris Hayes, Tuesday, April 21st, 2015

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Date: April 21, 2015
Guest: Jayne Miller, Paul Butler, Sherrod Brown, Dan Savage, John Ridley,
Mimi Lemay, Joe Lemay, Kate Snow


CHRIS HAYES, MSNBC HOST (voice-over): Tonight on ALL IN --


HAYES: Protests erupt in Baltimore. And a family searches for
answers after Freddie Gray died in police custody. We`ll have the latest.

Plus, open warfare in the Democratic Party.

We`re allies on a whole host of issues. But she`s wrong on this.

HAYES: Why President Obama is taking on Elizabeth Warren. And it`s
precisely the reason why Democrats need a primary.

Then, why same-sex marriage is making 2016 Republicans sound like 1992
Bill Clinton.

THEN-GOV. BILL CLINTON (D), ARKANSAS: I experimented with marijuana a
time or two, and I didn`t like it, and didn`t inhale and never tried it

HAYES: We finally know whatever happened to predictability.

UIDENTIFIED MALE: Netflix came around and said let`s do 13 episodes.

HAYES: The troubling implications of the "Full House" reboot.


HAYES: ALL IN starts right now.


HAYES: Good evening from New York. I`m Chris Hayes.

Protesters were out today in Baltimore, Maryland, following the death
of Freddie Gray. A 25-year-old black man who died on Sunday, a week after
suffering a spinal cord injury in police custody.

Earlier this evening, several members of Gray`s family including his
mother marched with protesters just hours after the Justice Department
announced they have officially opened a civil rights investigation into
Freddie Gray`s death.

Witness video showed the 25-year-old being pulled off the street and
put into a police van. Court documents said he had, quote, "fled
unprovoked" upon noticing police presence. When he was apprehended after a
brief foot chase, quote, "the officer noticed a knife inside his front
right pants pocket. The defendant was arrested without force or incident,"
end quote.

Joining me now by phone is Jayne Miller, investigative reporter at
NBC`s Baltimore affiliate WBAL TV.

Jayne, there are so many questions here. Part of the issue is getting
any account out of the Baltimore Police Department about what exactly
happened to Mr. Gray. It looks like in that video he is already unable to
use his lower half of his body. Do we know what happened?

JAYNE MILLER, WBAL-TV REPORTER (via telephone): Actually, Chris, if
you look at the video carefully, you`ll find he`s able to get into the
police wagon the first time under his own power. That`s important because
it starts to help establish the timeline in this case.

He`s obviously not happy about being arrested. Let`s start right
there, because one of the questions that, if the feds will review this, one
of the questions prosecutors are reviewing is the probable cause to put him
under arrest to begin with. This was a guy who on Sunday morning, April
12th was in a neighborhood. Yes, it`s known as a high crime neighborhood.
He does have an arrest record involving mostly minor offensives for drug
possessions, and they make eye contact and he starts running. They catch
up with him and he stops and said, "You got me".

At that point, they put him on the pavement, put him in handcuffs and
then they find the knife. So, the question is, did they have probable
cause to begin with to make that arrest?

HAYES: And there`s also now the question of what the heck happened in
custody. I mean, we have -- I mean, this is someone who his family says
his spinal cord was 80 percent severed. That we have six officers involved
in the arrest who have been essentially suspended pending further review,
but we still don`t have any clear picture of what happened once that video

Once Mr. Gray is placed in the van, we don`t have any account from
anyone, as far as what I can tell, of what happened next.

MILLER: That will be difficult to get. Mr. Gray was no longer with

There was a second prisoner picked up late in the 30-minute period in
which Mr. Gray was in the transport van, but it`s not clear what that
witness -- what that suspect saw, if anything, or noticed, if anything.
The van is divided in the middle.

But, you know, what this boils down to -- and the question I put it
here in custody, proper policy requires police officers to take a prisoner
to custody to take care of them. To make sure they`re safe if they request
medical attention, if medical attention is necessary, they have to get it.
That`s where the case rests, is what did they do or what didn`t they do
when it became fairly obvious that Mr. Gray was in trouble?

HAYES: Well, the question is, another question you have to ask is,
you know, whatever injuries there were that ultimately appears to have
caused a death, were those sustained before the interaction with the
police, during the interaction with police, once in the van in police
custody, et cetera?

I mean, what is so strange to me, what is maddening, I can understand
the family`s frustration is, in these cases we`ve covered in other
environments, there`s at least some public account of how this came to be.
And as of yet, we don`t have anything.

MILLER: But that`s not entirely correct. There has been a timeline
released by the Baltimore police department, and there`s been reporting
released by us that WBAL TV that filled in some of the timeline.

So, we do have an idea of when the van stopped, where it stopped. We
have witness accounts of what may have happened at a second stop, which may
be critical to the story, because we have a witness who says that when the
van stopped the second time so he was taken out of the van so the shackles
could be applied to his legs, the police officer, quote, "threw him back in
the van head first."

Did that cause the injury? Perhaps. Because he was shackled and
handcuffed, did he fall down and that caused the injury?

The -- so far, the information has been provided about the autopsy
shows that very severe spinal cord injury high in the neck area, it does
not -- but it does not -- it has no other bodily injury, least according to
what`s been released about the autopsy.

So, there has been some information out, obviously. The key question
is what happened to him and how did it happen? I`m not sure we`re going to
clearly know that, the answer to that.

HAYES: Jayne Miller, thank you so much for joining me. I really
appreciate it.

Joining me now Paul Butler, former prosecutor with the U.S. Department
of Justice.

I feel like there`s a kind of pattern, rhythm to this as bleak and
frustrating as it may be, in which there`s a case of alleged police
misconduct, announcement of Justice Department investigation, but then a
question of what it means. So, maybe in this case, as someone who worked
at the Department of Justice, you can walk us through what it might mean in
this case.

PAUL BUTLER, FORMER PROSECUTOR: Well, the department will wait until
the state completes its investigation in order to decide whether to bring
federal charges. So, in a case like this where there`s violence by a
police officer allegedly, the most obvious, charge is something like
voluntary manslaughter, murder, negligent manslaughter.

And frankly, those cases are a lot easier to prove than federal
charges. Not saying they`re easy, because with any police officer case,
it`s hard to get juries to convict. But easier than a federal prosecution
where you have to prove willful and intentional violation of a
constitutional right. That`s a high standard. That`s why we haven`t seen
announcements of investigations in the Trayvon Martin, Michael Brown, Eric
Gardner, though we haven`t seen federal criminal prosecutions brought in
those cases. Again, it`s a really high standard.

HAYES: And one of the things about this case in particular, and it
was true of the case in California when the man on the horse was beaten, I
remember having someone on the program tell me that in some ways it`s
easier to make a criminal case on beating or a death in custody than it is
for a fatal shooting because the sort of argument of self-defense is not
present, right? A police officer beats someone or in this case if someone
dies in police custody while shackled, the argument we`ve seen in other
cases which is I feared for my life, I had to use lethal force would seem
to be inapplicable.

BUTLER: Yes, that`s exactly right, Chris. And then the other concern
is you don`t have a witness who can at least give his version of the

But guess who knows what happened? One of these six officers who is
now on administrative leave knows what`s happening.

What is going on with them? They`re lawyered up. Their lawyers are
saying what any defense lawyer would say, don`t talk to the police,
ironically. Don`t talk to the investigators. Don`t say what happened.

Somebody is going to cut a deal, is my prediction. And that`s how
this mystery will start to unravel.

HAYES: Yes. The investigator`s best friend in this case is that so
many people -- this is not obviously in the case of Walter Scott, the fatal
shooting. There was one officer and one suspect in a small bit of space.
The video captured what happened.

In this case, we have a variety of officers even involved in the
initial arrest, but throughout and what you`re saying is someone is going
to talk about what happened.

BUTLER: Yes. So, you know, that`s going to be the best way to find
out what went on inside this van.

One of the things I don`t get is where is the videotape in this case?
Baltimore is famous for having cameras on every street corner, especially
in, quote/unquote, "high crime areas".

So if there are allegations that Mr. Gray was thrown into the wagon
while he was handcuffed and with his legs shackled, that would explain how
he got the injuries, you know, hopefully there`s a video of what actually

HAYES: Paul butler, thank you for being here.

BUTLER: Great to be here.

HAYES: We`ll be right back.


HAYES: President Obama`s exclusive interview with MSNBC where he
takes on people in his own party on a hot button trade deal.


OBAMA: When you hear folks make a lot of suggestions about how bad
this trade deal is, when you dig into the facts, they are wrong.


HAYES: Senator Sherrod Brown will be here to respond.

Plus, some people are not psyched about the "Full House" reboot.
You`re going to have to stay tuned to find out if I`m one of those people
or else --


UNIDENTIFIED GIRL: You`re in big trouble mister!



HAYES: In an exclusive interview with MSNBC and our own Chris
Matthews, the president today responded to harsh criticism from Senator
Elizabeth Warren and other progressives over administration`s attempt to
push through the biggest trade deals since NAFTA.


OBAMA: I guess they don`t want it to happen. And I love Elizabeth.
We`re allies on a host of issues, but she`s wrong on this.

Now, I would not be doing this trade deal if I did not think it was
good for the middle class. And when you hear folks make a lot of
suggestions about how bad this trade deal is, when you dig into the facts,
they are wrong.


HAYES: Trans-Pacific Partnership, the final details are being hashed
out now between the United States, Japan and other nations in this 12-
nation deal is a trade agreement that the Democratic leader in the Senate
is staunchly against.


SEN. HARRY REID (D-NV), MINORITY LEADER: I`ve never ever in my 33
years of Congress ever supported, ever supported a trade agreement, and I`m
not going to start now. They`re not good for the American people. They`re
not good for working men and women. It puts us at a disadvantage.

So, the answer is not only no but hell no. OK? But no I`m not going
to be doing any single-handed trying to defeat it. I`ve told everybody how
I feel. That`s the way it is.


HAYES: So, while Senator Reid is a hell no, he also said he wouldn`t
single-handedly try to defeat it.

All this debate is intensifying on Capitol Hill, the debate among
presidential contenders has been tepid at best since there is obviously a
dearth of such contenders.

Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton supported the Trans-Pacific
Partnership as secretary of state and has not renounced that support to
date. Although today in New Hampshire, she talked more broadly about the
principles abstractly of a good trade deal.


deal has to produce jobs and raise wages and increase prosperity and
protect our security. And we have to do our part in making sure we have
the capabilities and the skills to be competitive.


HAYES: Governor Martin O`Malley who hasn`t yet declared a run for the
presidency is against TPP, calling it a, quote, "bad trade deal", and today
released an ad today saying just that.

Meanwhile, the Republican Party stands broadly in support of the deal,
so much so that the GOP also supports giving President Obama fast track
authority so the deal could pass relatively quickly in Congress without
amendments. Let`s be clear -- that is something that on almost any other
issue would be inconceivable from the Republican Party. Republicans have
been consistently clamoring for more power over whether or not a nuclear
deal with Iran is ever reached.

And tonight, I spoke with Senator Sherrod Brown of Ohio and asked him
what he thought are President Obama`s main pitch on the trade agreement
that we should trust him on this.


SEN. SHERROD BROWN (D), OHIO: Show me something. I trust the
president of the United States. I think she`s been a good president. I
supported him on everything from Iran sanctions to health care to Dodd-
Frank and enthusiastically. But on this one, this fast track legislation
is hardly different from one ten years ago.

We see presidents of the United States, because of their legacy or for
whatever reason, think they need to leave trade agreements behind for the
American people, and evidence for years is that these cost us jobs. We --
our trade deficit since we passed PNTR with China went from about $12
billion or $15 billion a year to 15 -- more than $25 billion a month with
China, and that`s directly lost jobs, because we`re buying things from them
that we used to make in the United States.

HAYES: But folks say, look, yes, it`s not zero sum and consumers are
gaining. So, the trade deals we`ve done, particularly the trade with
China, there are some lost jobs, but there`s huge amounts of consumer
savings that are being reaped on the other end, and those consumer savings
mean essentially money in people`s pockets in households throughout the

BROWN: Well, things might cost less, maybe, but we know that people
have less income to pay for those things. We`re moving because of these
trade agreements to a low-wage economy instead of an economy that we used
to be post-war from the `40s into the `80s, maybe even into the early --
maybe even into `90s where wages went up and people could afford to buy
things. And now we`re not.

HAYES: What`s your theory? You said something interesting and this
goes back to NAFTA, which -- you actually wrote a book about NAFTA and free
trade, which I`ve read, which is quite good.

BROWN: Thank you.

HAYES: About presidents always want this. It doesn`t matter the
party over the last, you know, 20 years, even as data comes in saying the
gains the economy from NAFTA were nowhere near what was promised. What is
your theory for why it is every president essentially acts the same as
every other president in pushing these deals?

BROWN: You know, I was in Dayton and Youngstown in the last week or
so talking to workers about these trade deals. And a number of people
looked at me who support the president. These are often -- these are often
union members and said, why is he doing this?

I don`t have the answer. I don`t know. I think that -- I mean, the
president is clearly is too close to Wall Street. I think we have seen
that in other kinds of decisions, and the people advising on the trade
agreements, I guess they study their economic textbook and say -- textbooks
that say free trade is always a good idea.

But President Bush, who I don`t quote that much -- the first President
Bush said a billion dollars in trade surplus or deficit turns into 13,000
jobs. So, if you have a billion dollar trade deficit, it means 13,000 lost
jobs. Multiply that times 5 and 600, and you get a huge number of lost

I think maybe the president thinks about policy, micro -- kind of
macro political -- geopolitical policies and things with China that makes
him think differently about this. But, clearly, this is not something that
works for American workers. It works for the communities that get
devastated by lost manufacturing jobs.

HAYES: Let me ask you this. I was going back just before we started
speaking, and looking at coverage of Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama in
your state of Ohio during the contested primary back in 2008 when each of
them were essentially trying to out-NAFTA the other one.

And my question if we had a competitive primary right now, like we had
in 2008, would we have a different discussion and debate in the Democratic
Party about this issue?

BROWN: Well, you might. All though, if you remember both candidates
in response to a question at Cleveland State University. My wife and I
were in the audience. Both candidates answered the question, yes, I will
renegotiate NAFTA.

And, you know, so, what they say, I might generally believe them.


BROWN: What they say in the campaign isn`t always translated. But,
you know, they`re getting a lot of pressure from the largest corporations
in the country on this.

But fundamentally here is what happened, Chris, that bothers me the
most, is we`ve seen the typical business plan for thousands of American
companies now to shut down production in Steubenville and Toledo and move
it to Wuhan and Xian (ph), China or Mexico City and then sell those
products back into the United States.

That`s pretty much a first in world economic history. You shut down
production, move overseas, make those products and sell it back to the home
country. These trade agreements -- these trade agreements grease the
wheels to do that. That`s the problem.

HAYES: Sherrod Brown, senator of Ohio, thank you very much.

BROWN: Thank you, Chris.


HAYES: Taking page from the Bill Clinton presidential playbook,
potential 2016 contender Scott Walker says he went to the reception for a
gay wedding, not the ceremony.


BILL CLINTON: (AUDIO GAP) England, I experimented with marijuana a
time or two and I didn`t like it, and didn`t inhale and never tried it


HAYES: Dan Savage will be here to talk about not inhaling at gay
weddings, next.



BILL CLINTON: When I was in England, I experimented with marijuana
time or two, and I didn`t like it, and didn`t inhale and never tried it


HAYES: Bill Clinton`s answer to a question in 1992 about whether he
had smoked marijuana has been the source of jokes for decades now, because
it`s so manifestly preposterous. But, of course, his answer "I didn`t
inhale" wasn`t about whether he had smoked pot. It was about the larger
battle over not just marijuana shifting social norms, about what it meant
to have the first presidential election which plausible candidates could be
more aligned with baby boomers than the greatest generation. I was
reminded of Clinton`s attempt to thread the needle when I saw the response
that Scott Walker gave over the weekend when he was asked if he would
attend a same-sex wedding.


REPORTER: Would you attend a gay wedding?

GOV. SCOTT WALKER (R-WI), CONSIDERING 2016 BID: Well, in terms of --
that`s certainly personal issue. For a family member, Tonette and I and
our family have already had a family member who`s had a reception. I
haven`t been at a wedding. That`s true even though my position on marriage
is still defined between a man and woman. I support the constitution of
the state. But for someone I love, I`ve been to a reception.


HAYES: Got that? He skipped the wedding but went to the reception.
Walker was reportedly away on business when the wedding occurred, leaving
open whether he would have attended had he been around.

And this was not some random question for Scott Walker. Five
different 2016 Republican presidential hopefuls have now been asked if they
would attend a same-sex wedding. All oppose marriage equality, and all
five are trying to figure out how to navigate some very uncomfortable, as
social norms, around marriage equality and gay rights are changing. Even
as the GOP remains at least institutionally largely stuck in the past.

Joining me now, syndicated columnist Dan Savage, host of the "Savage
Love" cast.

Dan, I love -- I thought that Walker answer was actually a fairly
elegant attempt to thread a very, very fine needle.

DAN SAVAGE, SAVAGE LOVE: It was. It`s very amusing to watch this
issue of same-sex marriage divides Republicans. Not just against each
other and themselves but against their own family members and the bigoted
Republican base.

But for me, it really calls the question why you would invite someone
to your wedding who didn`t think you should have one. It`s like inviting
someone to your birthday party who didn`t think you should have another
birthday. It`s a little awkward.


HAYES: So you want the campaign press corps to start grilling the
inviters rather than the invitees.

SAVAGE: Right, and the hypothetical gay friends. You know, when the
anti-gay bigots like Rick Santorum were challenged on their anti-gay
bigotry, or Cruz or Huckabee, they always point to their imaginary
hypothetical gay friends who might apparently invite them to a gay wedding.

In Walker`s case, it was his own sister. That`s interesting about
this. We saw with Rob Portman in Ohio, when it comes to flesh and blood
and family versus base, a lot of Republicans are having a hard time now
choosing base over family. That`s really the whole trajectory of the LGBT
civil rights movement right there in a nutshell.

HAYES: And that`s I think this question is so interesting and

We have an approval matrix style sort of grid here for where the
candidates on this, are -- do they support marriage equality and would they
attend a same sex wedding. So, of course, Hillary Clinton is in the yes,
yes category. Scott Walker sort of straddling the no-yes, and no-no.

Rick Santorum, this was his answer. Take a listen.


HUGH HEWITT: Would you, Rick Santorum, attend a same-sex wedding of a
loved one or a family friend or anyone you were close to?

RICK SANTORUM: No, I would not.

HEWITT: Why not?

SANTORUM: As a person of my faith, that would be something that would
be a violation of my faith. I would love them and support them but I would
not participate in that ceremony.


HAYES: So that`s in the no-no quadrant. I actually think that`s in
some ways the most philosophically consistent, right, or the most honest in
some ways.

SAVAGE: In some ways, yes. I wouldn`t want to take up the gay
friends Rick Santorum in 2012 claim that he had to ask them if they would
invite him or had been invited him to any sort of wedding reception.

It`s important note, though, that Rick Santorum, the fait that he
ascribes to, the one that he cites, his Catholicism, and he`s out of step
with American Catholics. American Catholics are by a wide majority
supportive of marriage equality, supportive of full civil rights for LGBT

And I think that`s really interesting. Of all religious denominations
in the United States, Catholics are the most progressive on LGBT civil
rights issues. So, not only is Rick Santorum out of step with the broader
American public, he`s also out of step with members of his own church in
the United States.

HAYES: So here is -- here is the opposite quadrant. And, this is what
you`re going to see a lot of the GOP candidates actually respond with.

This is John Kasich, whose an as yet undeclared but possible
candidate, talking about the same issue. Take a listen.


JOHN KASICH, GOVERNOR OF OHIO: In fact, I have a friend who is gay,
who asked me if I would go to his wedding, and I said, well, let me think
about it. And I went home and I said to my wife, you know, my friend is
getting married, what do you think? Do you want to go? And she goes, oh,
I`m absolutely going. I called him today and said, hey, just let me know
what time it is.


HAYES: Now, at some level -- that`s in that lower right quadrant,
right? And, at some level, that`s the no, I don`t support marriage
equality, but sure, I`ll go to the wedding. And at some -- or the upper
left quadrant.

At some level, like, that`s more humanizing but it`s also, like, a
ideological and philosophical basket case. What the heck is the rationale
for showing up at something that you think is deeply violation that should
be illegal.

SAVAGE: It kind of just, it goes back to the birthday party thing for
me. Okay, I`m at your birthday party. I wish you didn`t have a birthday to
celebrate but, here we are. Happy birthday. Next year I hope I`m not back
here. I hope you don`t have another one of these.

It`s just a little bit in conflict. A lot of us who are gay, lesbian,
bi, who have had same sex weddings, we have been in the position where
we`ve invited family
that had not yet come around on our full civil equality, on our
relationships, and it wasn`t for many until they were at the wedding and
they saw how we were treated by our friends and other family members that
they finally did come around.

So, hope for John Kasich.

HAYES: Hope for them all. (inaudible) the conversion experience of a
big, festive gay wedding.

Dan Savage, thank you very much.
Still ahead, a story you won`t be able to stop thinking about tonight.
The incredible journey of one family and their transgender 5 year old


JOE LEMAY, FATHER: I explained to him that, look, we can bring you to
a new school, and everyone will know you as a boy from the beginning.

Right then he said, that`s what I want.

MIMI LEMAY, MOTHER: He said, I want to be a boy always.

I want to be a boy named Jacob.



HAYES: If you talk to gay and lesbian adults, the vast majority will
tell you they knew they were gay or lesbian when they were children. And
there was a time in this country when talking about a gay child would have
seemed absolutely taboo or terrifying or bizarre. No longer.

Well, guess what? There are transgender children across this country.

MBC`s Kate Snow talked to one family about what it means to make a
world accept that.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You look handsome. Are you ready for today? Are
you ready to school?


M. LEMAY: Okay.

Jacob is your typical, energetic little boy who loves to run around,
loves to play in the dirt, loves to get his hands into things.

J. LEMAY: He`s just like the funnest kid and a great buddy to have
around. Who is also born in a girl`s body.

M. LEMAY: Jacob is transgender.

J. LEMAY: The doctor said that we had a girl.

M. LEMAY: Clearly a girl.

J. LEMAY: Yeah. So, we started thinking of girl names.

F. LEMAY: Mia was born in 2010.

Go to dada.

[ laughter ]

J. LEMAY: Good job.

Mia, um, really wanted to change her clothes a lot. Right? Constantly,
like 12 times a day.

M. LEMAY: But then the doggie sweater came and she became obsessed
about wearing this one garment for six months straight, over the ballet
tutu. Over the Christmas clothes.

In hindsight, I think what she was trying to do was dispel a sense of
discomfort in her -- the way was -- her image was being shown to the world.

J. LEMAY: She would take on boy personas, and always want to, just
always want to play with boy things, and we thought, well, it seems like we
have a tomboy on our hands, right?

She didn`t fit in with the boys and she didn`t fit in with the girls.
And, it was obvious to her and the other kids.

M. LEMAY: I think she felt that and so she withdrew from people, and
wouldn`t look people in the face when they talk talked to her.

You look beautiful right now. You look awesome. What do you think,

MIA LEMAY, DAUGHTER: I want someone to cut my hair and I want it to
be like that.

M. LEMAY: Her need to play boy roles and her need to be seen or
spoken to as a boy at home became very persistent and very consistent.

Those are the hallmarks of a possibly transgender child. Consistence,
persistence, and insistence. And she was meeting all those markers.

I was confused and concerned, and I hoped that this obsession with
being a boy would go away. I remember crying because I imagined her being
in the playground and nobody playing with her.

I imagined her going through high school not having a date.

A mother`s heart knows when her child is suffering. He was talking
about hating his body. I even found him kind of poking at himself at some
point angrily.

Wanting to be something different. Saying things like, why did God
make me this way. Why did god make me wrong? A child shouldn`t have to live
like that.

I was driving up the street and a car was going really fast and it
made it, but we had to slow down really rapidly, and I said to myself, if
this was the moment where I lost her, what would I have want to have done?

Would I have wanted to force her to be Mia for that one last day, or
would I want her to have gone happy, being who she really was? And I think,
at that point my mind was made up.

It was April of last year, we hadn`t yet transitioned Jacob, but he
had short hair and he was wearing entirely boy clothes.

We had a glorious trip. We bought him a prince charming costume. And
he would be stopped everywhere, oh, how handsome. Oh, your son, he is so
cute. He just glowed.

J. LEMAY: The look of pride on his was like he just, he had a ball.
And it was a lightbulb or something clicked.

M. LEMAY: He was really happy in that moment. He was being perceived
as he wanted to.

There had been a video that had gone viral of a adorable little boy
out in California, Riley Whittington, and his parents had made a video of
him explaining the process of their transitioning him and clearly, this boy
is so happy now. So adorable. So full of life and animation, and we were
very struck by that.

We talked about it and we said, what if we showed him this video of
this boy?
When the video finished, we asked him what do you think about that boy? I
said, do you think you might like to be like? Do you think you might like
to have a new name and everyone know that you`re a boy? And he said I
can`t. I have to be Mia at school. I can be what I want at home, but I have
to be Mia at school.

J. LEMAY: I explained to him, that look, we can bring you to a new
school, and everyone will know you as a boy from the beginning.

Right then he said, that`s what I want.

M. LEMAY: He said, I want to be a boy always. I want to be a boy
named Jacob.

Before the transition, he didn`t smile a lot. I had never seen him
throw his head back and laugh, like, really loudly.

J. LEMAY: He`s just a different person who is becoming himself.

M. LEMAY: He started looking people in the eye. He started talking
about people. That`s my friend.

J. LEMAY: Striking up conversations.

M. LEMAY: Yeah.

And I realized how much he had come out of his shell. And how much
being Jacob suited him. And I realized he had never really been Mia. That
had been a figment of my imagination.

J. LEMAY: I couldn`t ask for a better son. He`s amazing.

M. LEMAY: I want him to know how proud I am of him. How brave I
believe he is. And how, no matter what, I am in his corner. And I love him.
And I always will.
Because he`s my son.


HAYES: NBC`s News national correspondent, Kate Snow joins me now.

Kate, this is just phenomenal, phenomenal work.

KATE SNOW, NBC: Thank you.

HAYES: And I can`t thank you enough for it.

How did you find these parents? They`re incredible.

SNOW: Good question. Yeah. They actually had made a decision to go
public with their story.

A short time ago, she wrote this, to me, the mother, she wrote
powerful letter to my son and posted it online, and we saw that.

And, it`s on our website now, actually, and I was in tears reading
very similar to what you just heard, her journey, you know, as she
described not knowing how to accept, or whether to accept, or what to do.

HAYES: Well, I mean, I have a 3 year old and 1 year old.

In any circumstance, gender in little kids is -- they`re constantly
trying on identities. There`s all these insane messages that you don`t
control, and it`s a
very difficult terrain to navigate when you have your own sort of vision or
politics about gender, and gender equality.

SNOW: Absolutely. I`m a mom of two kids, and there have been days
where I make my daughter wear a dress because we`re going somewhere fancy.

Yeah, I think every parent -- I think that is why we wanted to examine
this through the eyes of parents and families. Because, parents can relate
to the idea of not understanding what your child is going through, whatever
it is.

In this case it happens to be that they`re transgender.

HAYES: This is part of a series. You got more reporting tomorrow,

SNOW: Tomorrow morning on the Today show. Tomorrow night we`re
actually telling the story of 8 year old Melissa. A little bit older. She`s
8. She transitioned on her eighth birthday last summer.

She happens to be the granddaughter of a United States congressman,
Mike Honda, from Northern California, who tweeted about her.

HAYES: An amazing tweet about her.

SNOW: Yeah. And that`s how we found their story.

HAYES: Yeah, I can`t wait -- there it is right there. I can`t wait to
watch it.

Excellent, excellent work.

SNOW: Thank you so much.

HAYES: Appreciate it. NBC News national correspondent, Kate Snow.

Still to come, fans of the late `80s slash early 90`s TBC sitcom Full
House are rejoicing, I guess, if they are out there, after Uncle Jesse
announces the
show is coming back.

But, is it a good thing? Someone who has worked in Hollywood for
decades and won an Academy Award for screenplay of 12 Years a Slave, John
Ridley will be here with me ahead.


HAYES: Okay, so here`s what goes through my head every time I see a
movie poster or a new show or an article about something, how did that
pitch meeting go? Like, who said yes to that? Or, who said no to all the
awesome things that never got to air. I`m going to talk to someone who`s
been in many of those pitch meetings ahead.



JOHN STAMOS, ACTOR: Five minutes ago they called and we sealed the

We`ve been working on this for many years. The original creators, Jeff
Franklin and Bob Boyett and Tom Miller, we were trying to do some sort of
spin-off and, you know, we wanted to give credit to the legacy. We didn`t
want to just sort of throw it away.

And so, Netflix came around and said let`s do 13 episodes.


HAYES: John Stamos, still known to so many fans as Uncle Jesse,
unveiled the big news last night. Full House, the beloved family sitcom
that went off the air in the 1995 after an 8 year run is getting a much
anticipated revival, courtesy of Netflix.

The new show, Fuller House, will focus on the oldest child, DJ Tanner,
now widowed with two boys and another on the way, who`s sister, Stefanie,
and childhood friend, Kimmy Gibbler, now all grown up, move in to help out.

While those three actors, plus Stamos, have all signed on, not yet
known whether the Olsen twins, or anyone else from the original will make
an appearance.

Now, before we go any further, I have an admission to make. When I
first came across this news floating around the internet, I actually
couldn`t tell if it was a
joke. There does seem to be such an epic waive of nostalgia in American pop
culture right now. It`s getting on the verge of self parody.

Icons from the past have been popping up in commercials, like this one
for Geico starring hip hop group, Salt and Peppa. Or this Statefarm
campaign with Dana Carvey and Kevin Nealon as Hanz and Franz, characters
they created on SNL back in the `80s.

And, these days just about every new shoe Nike releases seems to be a
rehash of the classic Air Jordans, including the ones I`m wearing. And now
Buzzfeed has an entire vertical, Rewind, dedicated to stuff Millennials
miss from childhood.

Nowhere is this nostalgia more prevalent than in TV and movies, where
comic books in the 1992 editions of TV Guide seem to be the main source of
material. The X Files and Twin Peaks revivals, now in development for
television to the reboot slash sequels of Mad Max, Jurassic Park, Star Wars
coming to the big screen, to the many super hero franchises on every single
platform, so many they`re impossible to keep track of. Everything old is
new again.

We seem to be living in both the best and worst times for pop culture
innovation. It`s the post Sopranos era of television, of golden age, of
smart, serious shows, while democratizing force the internet gives just
about everything the chance to reach an audience.
But, as we see new platforms like Netflix become more established, I
worry what began as innovative upstarts will become increasingly risk
adverse. And, before you know it, every show will just be a different
permutation of Superman, or Full, Fuller House.

Up next, I`ll talk to someone who managed to have it both ways. A
producer and an Oscar winning screenwriter, who`s currently got an edgy,
original show on network TV, and who`s also teaming up with Marvel on a new



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We have a right to be here. Justice for Carter

[ chanting ]


HAYES: It was a scene from the new episode of American Crime, which
airs on ABC.

It`s a pretty risky show for one of the broadcast networks. As you can
see, this weeks episode in particular deals with subjects that are
currently vital and exploding in America. In fact, we have a live shot
right now we could probably show you, what`s going on in Baltimore that
looks not that different from that.

The show was created by my guest John Ridley, who`s worked in
Hollywood for more than two decades as a writer, producer and director, and
who won an Academy Award in 2014 for the screenplay of 12 Years a Slave.

Great to have you here, John.


HAYES: Congratulations on American Crime, which I do think, which is
this show that sort of takes all these live wire social issues and sort of
runs them
through the conduit of this, I would say, nontraditional crime drama.

RIDLEY: Absolutely. It`s not about procedural. It`s not about the
police. It`s not about prosecutors. It`s about families, and their journey
through the

It is a bit odd, looking at that bit of tape that you showed from our
episode that is going to show this week, Thursday, to know that is actually
happening right now.

And, that was, I would say, very much a guiding principle for
everybody on this show. It is a piece of fiction, but we wanted to make
sure that we had an emotional honesty.

HAYES: So, alright, what do you think about -- you`re someone who has
been in all different parts of showbiz. You have worked on a variety of
stuff. You know, Oscar winning stuff. You got your start writing for Martin

RIDLEY: Martin Show, Fresh Prince of Bel Air back in the day.

HAYES: Fresh Prince of Bel Air. What do you think about this sort of,
best of times, worst of the times, kind of analogy of, you know, it does
seem to me there is so much interesting, fresh stuff getting made and then
there`s also this pull towards, like, franchises, retreads, bringing stuff

RIDLEY: Absolutely. There`s an element of brand, you know, that
you`re going put out something like a Star Wars or Avengers and folks know
that there`s a brand and there`s a level of entertainment that they can
expect. And, I think that`s really good.

I am stunned to a degree even now that ABC, to their credit, took a
show that is nontraditional in so many ways, that deals with things about
faith that normally is a third rail in broadcast entertainment, race. But
even beyond that, the way we shoot the show, our lack of music. Some of our
actors wear very little makeup. Things like that --

HAYES: Could you have sold this ten years ago?

RIDLEY: That`s an interesting question. I don`t know that ten years
ago we
could have done this show. But, even now, this is a show, people talk about
it as being cable quality television. But even cable does not necessarily
do shows that are principally about people of color, about our points of
view, perspectives.

We were talking just a moment ago about things behind the scenes.
We`re very proud of the fact that on American Crime the majority of our
directors were female. There is still issues of access.

So it`s things that I`m so proud about that are obvious with the show
that it deals with race, that it deals with faith. There are so many things
about American Crime -- again, I`m not trying to be a show for ABC. But
they took a chance all the way around with the show.

HAYES: What have you learned about -- you talk about the systemic

You talk about there`s a big discussion about the Academy, right? And,
the Academy is one thing, but there`s is also like a who is in the room
when you`re
making the pitch, right? Who is reviewing the scripts? And, how much has
that changed?

RIDLEY: Unfortunately it has not changed a lot. And, when I started
writing Fresh Prince of Bel Air and The Martin Show, that was the early mid
`90s. We really thought, a lot of us -- people who look like me, we were
sitting in a room as writers, as young writer producers, thinking 20 years
from now there`s going to be so many stories that we`re going to have an
opportunity to tell. So many things we`re going to do.

And I look around and I feel alone.

HAYES: Really?

RIDLEY: Yes. And, that`s not right, because I have to be honest, I
certainly think I`m a talented person, but I`m not that much more talented
than other people.

I don`t have that much more to say than other people. And it`s --
there are moments I leave at the end of the day, I`m thankful for the
opportunity I have, but I look around, why is it this way still?

And I don`t have a good answer and quite frankly there is no answer.
There are only excuses at this point.

HAYES: And, what I`ve found about television, which I think is kind
of fascinating -- I always joke that there are three kinds of TV shows,
there`s hits, intimations of hits, and failures. Like, that`s all there
are. Right?

Every once awhile there`s a hit. And then everyone`s like, well, let`s
try that.

RIDLEY: We need our that.

And then we need our empire. Where`s our empire.

HAYES: That`s exactly right. And then sometimes you can get caught in
an updraft where a hit is made that does focus on stories by African
American people and then it`s like, let`s do a bunch of those.

And that`s going to last until, like, they start failing and then
someone going to look for the next hit.

RIDLEY: Absolutely. And then people, unfortunately, people start to
blame that thought of, like, well, you know, shows with black people and
music, they`re
not into that. Let`s not do buddy buddy because they`re not into that.

But, when you have the show like, as an example, Fresh Off the Boat,
because it is the first show with Asian Americans at the center of it in
about 20 years, there`s so much focus on that rather than is it just funny?
Is it entertaining? Is it fresh and unique in some kind of perspective.

HAYES: And then it becomes, in the minds of executives, it becomes
essentially proof of concept test case. Like, right? Because then if it
doesn`t work, you will hear someone in some meeting say, we did Fresh Off
the Boat. And if someone comes in and says, well, I have a story, you know,
about a Vietnamese
nurse in Houston. It`s like, no, we did Fresh Off the Boat.

RIDLEY: So, it is one of the things where it can be self-fulfilling
prophesies as opposed to 80 percent of television that goes up it fails
within the first two years.

HAYES: That`s right. Most stuff fails. That`s the fact about
culture. It`s a fact about restaurants, in fact. Capitalism.

John Ridley. Great to have you, man. Always a pleasure.

That is All In for this evening. The Rachel Maddow show starts right


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