ABC: World of ‘Handmaid’s Tale’ Is Taliban Set to Backdrop of ‘Trump’s America’

ABC’s Nightline on Friday donated over seven minutes of air time to hype the new season of The Handmaid’s Tale as a Taliban-esque dystopian fantasy set “against the backdrop of Donald Trump’s America.” Reporter David Wright breathlessly explained the show: “The new American regime is a theocracy that oppresses women in particular. They're not allowed to read or write or think for themselves.” 

Before describing who this future society is supposed to remind viewers of, Wright compared: “It’s as if the Puritans borrowed a few ideas from the Taliban and developed their own uniquely American caliphate.” With that setup, he connected the dots: “The TV show debuted against the backdrop of Donald Trump's America.” 

 

 

“Taliban,” “American caliphate,” “Donald Trump’s America.” Get it? In case you don’t, the ABC journalist spelled it out for you: “The show is now so relevant, protesters have shown up as handmaids at women's marches.” 

Oddly, in a show about the mistreatment of women, Wright promoted a joke that attacked the looks of another woman. Citing Michelle Wolf’s hateful performance at the April 28 Correspondents Dinner, he touted: 

DAVID WRIGHT: Last week's White House correspondents' dinner, there was even this joke at Sarah Sanders' expense. 

MICHELLE WOLF: I have to say, I’m a little star struck. I love you as Aunt Lydia in The Handmaid’s Tale

But, maybe this kind of disconnect isn’t so odd for Wright. Back in 2009, he mocked Sarah Palin as “Barbie.” Apparently for liberal journalists, it’s okay to mistreat certain women, so long as they are conservative. 

Newsweek magazine also showcased The Handmaid’s Tale as an attack on conservatives. The website wrote about the “direct connections” the show is making to American pro-lifers. 

A partial transcript of the May 4 segment is below. Click “expand” to read: 

Nightline
5/4/18
12:53:10 to 1:00:25
7 minutes and 15 seconds 

JUJU CHANG: It’s a dystopian fantasy world where tyranny rains and we can’t wait to go back. Season two of The Handmaid’s Tale is here and we celebrate it by joining the original author Margaret Atwood, as she shows us the world of our wildest nightmares. 

... 

DAVID WRIGHT: The story is set in a totalitarian regime called Gilead in what used to be the U.S. sometime in the year future after a devastating coup. The new American regime is a theocracy that oppresses women in particular. They're not allowed to read or write or think for themselves. Fertile women are enslaved, forced to bear children for the ruling class, impregnated by rape, and ultimately forced to hand over their babies. It’s as if the Puritans borrowed a few ideas from the Taliban and developed their own uniquely American caliphate. 

...

WRIGHT: Margaret Atwood's novel, published in 1985, is a feminist classic. I've read that you see this as a work of speculative fiction. 

MARGARET ATWOOD: Speculative fiction, and specifically this planet could happen. We could do it. And with The Handmaid's Tale, we could, because we have. 

...

WRIGHT: The TV show debuted against the backdrop of Donald Trump's America. Thankfully we're not living in Gilead yet. 

ATWOOD: We're not living in Gilead yet, but there are Gilead-like symptoms going on. 

WRIGHT: The show is now so relevant, protesters have shown up as handmaids at women's marches. And last week's White House correspondents' dinner, there was even this joke at Sarah Sanders' expense. 

MICHELLE WOLF: I have to say, I’m a little star struck. I love you as Aunt Lydia in The Handmaid’s Tale. 

WRIGHT: Do you think it would have resonated quite so much if Hillary Clinton had won? 

ATWOOD: No. 

ELIZABETH MOSS: I do think it would have been a little more of, oh, this is definitely something that we missed that — 

ATWOOD: We missed the bullet. 

MOSS: Exactly, narrowly missed it. 

WRIGHT: Even cast members are surprised at the show's impact. Actor Joseph Fiennes. 

JOSEPH FIENNES: It suddenly hit the political zeitgeist in the way we look at men and women and sexuality and the lack of parity and the lack of distribution of power. 
 

 


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