The Post, starring Hanks and Meryl Streep, tells the true story of how The Washington Post and The New York Times worked together to publish the Pentagon Papers, which exposed actions the United States government had taken during the Vietnam that had been kept secret from the public.
Asked whether he would screen the film for the current president, Hanks told The Hollywood Reporter, “I don’t think I would.”
He explained that prior to Trump’s election, “I would not have been able to imagine that we would be living in a country where neo-Nazis are doing torchlight parades in Charlottesville [Va.] and jokes about Pocahontas are being made in front of the Navajo code talkers.”
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He added, “And individually we have to decide when we take to the ramparts. You don’t take to the ramparts necessarily right away, but you do have to start weighing things. You may think: ‘You know what? I think now is the time.’ This is the moment where, in some ways, our personal choices are going to have to reflect our opinions. We have to start voting, actually, before the election. So, I would probably vote not to go.”
Directed by Steven Spielberg, the film follows Streep as Katharine Graham, who ran The Washington Post for over 20 years, and ultimately made the decision to publish the Pentagon Papers, which held inflammatory details about the U.S.’s involvement in Vietnam. Graham risked losing her newspaper and even prison time by defying then-president Richard Nixon and publishing the papers.
The White House often screens films in its private theater in the East Wing, although there are no indications Trump had asked that The Post be shown.
The film, which has received six Golden Globe Award nominations, hits theaters Dec. 22.