Jeff Daniels on NBC: ‘Racism Has Been in This Country Since the Mayflower Saw Land’

Appearing on Monday’s Today show to promote his new role as Atticus Finch in a Broadway production of To Kill a Mockingbird, liberal actor Jeff Daniels touted how the iconic story “still resonates today” because racism “hasn’t gone away.” In fact, he described racial animus as a defining characteristic in American history.

“I mean, this book was written back in the ’30s. I mean, talk about just kind of the relevance for today. Do you think the audience will get that?,” asked co-host Hoda Kotb. Daniels labeled the literary work to be “timeless,” proclaiming:

 

 

And what Harper [Lee] did in the early ’60s, based on 1934 Alabama, it still resonates today. Racism has been in this country since the Mayflower saw land. You know? It’s just been a part of this country. And it hasn’t gone away, by any stretch. And this reminds us of what we are and who we are and maybe who we can become, if we work at it.

Daniels has a long history of being harshly anti-Republican, and his HBO series, The Newsroom, was known for it’s anti-Americanism.

Here is a transcript of November 26 exchange:

8:38 AM ET

(...)

HODA KOTB: What about the – I mean, this book was written back in the ’30s. I mean, talk about just kind of the relevance for today. Do you think the audience will get that?

JEFF DANIELS: I think it’s timeless.

KOTB: Yeah.

DANIELS: Great art is timeless. And what Harper did in the early ’60s, based on 1934 Alabama, it still resonates today. Racism has been in this country since the Mayflower saw land. You know? It’s just been a part of this country. And it hasn’t gone away, by any stretch. And this reminds us of what we are and who we are and maybe who we can become, if we work at it.

(...)

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