At first blush, it would seem like politically alienating half the potential audience for your new movie is box-office madness. But when you think about it, a liberal actress talking to a left-wing host on a taxpayer-financed liberal network more or less founded by the liberal president who is the subject of your movie doesn’t have much to fear. The chances of a conservative watching Tavis Smiley are pretty much nil.
Jennifer Jason Leigh (Fast Times At Ridgemont High) and Smiley felt pretty comfortable taking shots at the current administration on PBS November 8. both After spending time reflecting on her role as Ladybird Johnson, Leigh laughed and said, “I’m not sure I want to be here in this madness.” Smiley agreed with the sentiment.
Tavis Smiley: Yeah but, these are crazy times that we’re living in.
Jennifer Jason Leigh: Oh, it’s insane.
Smiley: I’m not sure I want to be here in this madness.
Leigh: I’m not sure I want to either.
Smiley: Maybe I do want to go back to the 60s for a few years.
Leigh: Or at least go back two years ago. Yeah.
Leigh is not the first from her cast to speak out about politics, given that her co-star, Woody Harrelson, and her director, Rob Reiner, have both said things in order to promote LBJ, a film about President Lyndon Johnson’s first year in office. Reiner told the Hollywood Reporter that he just wished that “Trump would go away.”
Smiley was only too happy to talk about Lyndon B. Johnson, since both PBS and NPR were started under his administration. The host has expressed in the past a fear that Trump would bring slavery back to the United States.
When Leigh launched into a litany of all the things that she feared Trump would repeal, she mentioned that this was a “frightening time” and that she was “completely addicted to the news.” She feared the present because Trump “would strip away” all the things that “Obama put into place.” Smiley let the actress rant, probably because he himself thinks that a repeal of Obamacare is like a “drive-by shooting” of “innocent bystanders.”