In anticipation of Kerry Washington’s new film "Confirmation," Anita Hill spoke with TODAY's Savannah Guthrie about the importance of the film revisiting the event more than two decades after she took the stand, for a new generation that may have never heard the story.
“It’s always with me but there are moments when I relive it more strongly,” Hill shared. “It’s important for us, I think, to relive the story and continue to learn the lessons from it.”
In an interview surrounding the 2014 documentary "Anita," Hill told MSNBC, “One could be perfectly clear about this: The sexual harassment laws weren’t taken very seriously even before the Reagan election.”
Following the events surrounding Hill’s famed eight-hour testimony in 1991, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission saw a sharp spike in sexual harassment cases reported.
“25 years is a long time. An entire generation has grown up and never really witnessed this event,” Hill told Guthrie. The entire controversy happened during a time when the political atmosphere was, as Hill describes, “vicious.”
Clarence Thomas’ appointment came with much opposition by Civil and Women’s Rights organizations, and Anita’s story of her time with Thomas at the EEOC ignited a whirlwind of media and unwarranted slurs by both lawmakers and the press.
“The wrong processes can lead us to confusion. And I think that’s exactly what happened in 1991,” Anita explained.
Despite her claims, Thomas replaced Thurgood Marshall and was confirmed by one of the slightest margins in history by a Senate that was 98 percent male.
Kerry Washington, an executive producer on "Confirmation," took a personal interest in Hill’s story after watching the "Anita" documentary. Washington, who also plays Hill in the film, had several conversations with her about what she was thinking during the trial, to prepare for the role.
“That really was encouraging to have someone wanting to know what was going on in my mind during this whole episode,” said Hill.
Confirmation is set to premiere on HBO Saturday, April 16.