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where our hearts are broken. Right now, it's your job to go. Oh, that was a thing. But what was she really talking right? We should be focusing on family separation 24 7 until it's remedied. But you know what happened to you, as you just described, shows part of a much bigger pattern, which is how easy it is to deflect the so called mainstream media away from underlying stories. They're so easily distracted. We see it all the time. And there is a public appetite, too, for that kind of distraction. I mean, I do worry that we all maybe have the attention span of a goldfish. It's really, really hard work to stay focused on stories that no one wants to talk about. Well, is there some story looking back now, four years ago that you thought is the most important untold or under told story from the Trump era? Yes, I mean, the answer is yes. Times 10,000. His international business dealings is just a story that did not grip people. You know, Adam Davidson was doing like incredible reporting at The New Yorker about his business ties in Azerbaijan and internationally that are fascinating and just a ball of tangled wire to unfurl his tax dealings. His relationships to have known money launderers like all of those stories, just nothing stuck. I agree with you. But when thinking about these last four years, as you've chronicled them, I think it's important to ask, How close do you think we came to really losing our democracy, too? You know, seeing changes that we're almost becoming irreversible. I think we came much too close to another trump victory. Honestly, when, as I say it out loud as we're talking about it, I did start to sweat. There is an enormous number of people who said yes to more of that and that I find so scary and so daunting. So I think we came really close and I think we are still close. Listen, I think people are generally and I still say this After five years of doing the show, they think people are generally good. We're a nation of really great people. We can do it, but it takes so much work and so I do worry a little bit. There were you got to kind of come out of the pandemic into the roaring twenties again and really lives. And we're great colors and puffy sleeves and start partying and kind of forget about the underlying meat on the bone of keeping this work going. I think you're so right to point that out, because that's what happened after the so called Spanish flu. We went into the 19 twenties, the roaring 19 twenties, and I mean, I want people to roar again, the economy to roar again. But I do want people, as you rightly say, Samantha, to think about what we went through. I can't thank you enough for what you do all the time. You really try to help us all understand better what we're going through. Well, the feeling is very mutual, my friend. I hope your kids get to have a playdate sometime. I hope they get to go back to school sometime. The same for your grandkids. I hope they get to meet other kids. Want happy novel? There are like a bunch of little Martian aliens coming together for the first time. I'm just going to play the mirror game. What are you What are you Where have you been? Oh, Samantha. Thank you. So much and please keep going. We need you. Thank you. What? You can catch Samantha Wednesday nights on TBS, and you can also hear from her on her podcast. Full release with Samantha Bee. Now I'm getting to talk to Carrie Washington. She's an actor producer director. She runs her own production company called Simpsons Street. I first became aware of her certainly on scandal. Literally couldn't take my eyes off of her because of her grace and her power on the screen. And in real life, she's a dedicated advocate on behalf of racial justice, voting rights, democracy and so much more. So welcome. I'm so happy you're with us, Cary. Thank you. Thank you so much for having me. I want to talk about your amazing career and the fabulous roles you've played. But I want to start on the activism side because I think you and I share a sense of urgency. Last year you joined the Black Voices for Black Justice Fund as a co chair and you ended up helping to distribute over $1.5 million to black leaders fighting for a more fair, equitable, anti racist America. What does that work mean to you? I'm really proud to be a co chair for the fund because one of my superpowers, because of how lucky I've been in my career, is that people pay attention to the things I'm doing or saying whether I like it or not, whether you know, whether it's like paparazzi following me around when I'm pregnant or whatever it is. For some reason, I have eyeballs on me at times and so to be able to shift those eyeballs and resources to activists on the ground who are doing the day to day work of ending racism, working toward equity, working towards liberation for all people. I'm so passionate about that. I wanted to talk to you not only because of you know the great roles you've played and your success, but because you feel so deeply that this work is critical to your life, the lives of your Children and to our country. Yeah, we produce the project this year at Simpson Street called the Fight. It's a documentary about the A C L u. I think this film is the thing I'm most proud of in my career today, which is so funny because it's the one project where I'm not on camera. Right. But it's, um I love this film so much because we had unprecedented access into the A c l u. And I don't have to tell you the a c l u has sued every administration in the last 100 years. Democrat Republican doesn't matter. They are invested in defending the human rights of all people. And so we got to be in the trenches with these lawyers and get to know them for the super heroes that they are defending justice. But also, we got to go home with them. So we got to see them, you know, trying to keep their kids quiet while they're on a zoom call and lose it. You know, being afraid that they're not going to be able to hear the Supreme Court decision because they can't find their charger for their cellphone, right? Like we got to just see them as everyday people. And one of the things that we really like to do at the company is figure out how to upend otherness, right? Like there is this paradigm in culture that a certain kind of person is the hero of the story, the hero of Of of Our Legends are sort of shared cultural stories and that there are other people who get to play supporting roles and characters. And traditionally, women have been in the supporting role, and people of color have been in the supporting role the wife, the best friend and that the heroes have been, you know, straight white CIS gender men. And so we really like the idea of a pending that idea that each of us is at the center of our own story in real life and in our shared narratives. Well, you really upended a lot of those, uh, preconceptions with scandal where you played Olivia Pope. Everyone knows that alter ego, a powerful black woman with a prominent position in Washington. And I think you really helped to change the entertainment world and the discussion about whose story is worth telling. And although this was a fictional character, it was still something that gripped the imagination of millions of people. Looking back on that, how do you feel about Olivia Pope and scandal now, you know, I think a lot about the history of scandal. Now that I'm out of it. I think when I was in it, it was such a whirlwind. You know, it's hard to have perspective about these big historic moments while they're unfolding. But you know when When our show first aired, people talked about how much of a quote unquote risk it was for the network to center a black woman as the lead of a network drama. And it hadn't happened in, I think, 38 years at the time, almost 40 years. And I was in my early thirties, so in my lifetime I hadn't seen it. And I just remember the pressure, the pressure, the expectations of like you have to succeed. I felt like if our show didn't make it, it would be another 40 years before a woman of color that burden, didn't you? Yeah, I felt it. But what was thrilling was not because we were so great. We worked really hard on that show, but because audiences showed up, audiences turned on their televisions. They recorded us on their DVR. They talked about us on social media. We became a success which allowed for other women of color. Priyanka Chopra, how to show Viola Davis had a show and made history, winning the Emmy like, you know, empire. All of these other shows that centered black women because suddenly it wasn't a risk. Suddenly, we were a proven deal. Exactly. It changed the landscape of who we believe deserves to be at the center of stories on network television. Well, when you're talking about how long it had been, I couldn't help but think about Cecily Tyson, who we just recently lost. And she was someone who I admired from a distance. I remember sounder. I remember Miss Jane Pittman and Miss Jane Pittman was eight one hour long TV movie, I think. Yeah, exactly. And I remember when I saw it all those years ago, probably before you were born. I was so struck by how, what should have been a breakthrough back then, you know, kind of went silent, and then it had to be done all over again. And one of the challenges will be making sure it doesn't revert back. That's right. I just love her. I won't even say loved. I love her so so, so much. I have all these connections to her. She was at my baby shower for my Isabel She and Diane Carroll, Um, and Jane Fonda All my kind of like Hollywood goddess mentors. Um, but I was born on the night of the last episode of Roots. Oh, my gosh, that's funny. And I know that because my dad was not in the delivery room, he was in the waiting room with the nurses watching. I know episode of my mother was like, Where is everybody? It's a very famous story in our family. We're taking a quick break. Stay with us. This is the world's widest radio ad for auto insurance because most of those ads are like loud to swallow. Nisa wanted to quietly tell you about their J D Power Award. Not only do they have great rates for good drivers, but they're ranked number one in customer satisfaction in California. Really Polynesia. The best kept secret Auto insurance policy. 77 Well when Isa or visit Wallonia dot com for a free quote. 30 Power 2020 award information. Visit JD power dot com slash awards, now streaming exclusively on Paramount. Plus, this is the true story of the real world. Coming back almost 30 years later, the original seven roommates that started the reality genre are moving back in together for the new multi episode Doc You series. The Real World Homecoming. New York Living in that same iconic New York City loft and picking up right where they left off watches the cast goes back in time to relive some of their groundbreaking conversations that had never been tackled on television before. So join Becky, Heather, Eric, Kevin, Andre, Julien Norman as the fun kicks in and the surprises turn up and find out what happens when people stop being polite and start getting real all over again. Don't miss a moment of the real World Homecoming NEW YORK A new multi episode Daki series now streaming exclusively on Paramount. Plus mm, You know, you have taken on so many roles. But one very moving performance was when you played Anita Hill in the movie, confirmation about her incredibly brave testimony during Clarence Thomas's confirmation hearings in 1991. Did you meet her when you were making the movie? I did tell me about that. She was so generous with sharing her experience with me, and I'll be forever grateful because it's a real responsibility. I mean, it's funny, sisterly Tyson talked about this a lot, the responsibility of sort of playing characters with dignity. And with Anita Hill, there's no way not too. She's such a person of grace and elegance, and even her fierce courage came cloaked in her elegant dignity at all times. So I I really I loved having the opportunity to play her, but I also really loved producing that material, right, because it allowed me to have a real voice at the table about what her experience was like as a black woman to make sure that there was authenticity there. And also she and I had a great laugh because when I shot that scene of the Senate hearing, I got to experience what she felt of being this black woman facing a sea of powerful white men sitting above her, looking down on her, just like attacking her with questions. At times. The twist from what she did and what I did 30 years later was that Now all of those white men were actually working for me, so I got to sort of live in the
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