Anita Hill

The Woman Not Called During the Clarence Thomas Hearings
Angela Wright Shannon on ‘Confirmation,’ Joe Biden and What She Would Have Said

Angela Wright Shannon (Photo courtesy of Ms. Shannon)

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — The political theater that put Clarence Thomas on the Supreme Court, and Anita Hill and the issue of sexual harassment in the national conversation happened in 1991, but the recent HBO movie "Confirmation"  rehashed those debates.  

Angela Wright Shannon, then known as Angela Wright — or the other woman who accused Thomas of inappropriate words and behavior — got to see herself portrayed by Academy Award-winning Jennifer Hudson in that film, which she was asked to consult on but chose not to. She heard characters repeat the words of a column she wrote, not for publication but for a writing sample, which was leaked to the office of Senate Judiciary Committee chair Sen. Joseph Biden  and led to a subpoena.  

HBO Film Revives Clash Over Clarence Thomas
Former GOP staffer launches website to counter favorable portrayal of Anita Hill

Supreme Court nominee Clarence Thomas testifies during his hearing before Senate Judiciary in October 1991 (CQ Roll Call)

HBO’s new dramatization of Clarence Thomas’ 1991 Supreme Court confirmation hearings has spilled over into a real-life fight over the facts of Anita Hill’s sexual harassment accusations against him.  

Ahead of Saturday night’s premiere of the controversial “Confirmation ,” a former President George H.W. Bush staffer has launched confirmationbiased.com , a graphics-intensive site to counter what’s in the film.  

At Stake in Anita Hill Movie: Joe Biden's Legacy
New HBO Film Paints Biden as Failing to Call Key Witness

“The People versus O.J. Simpson” might’ve garnered more mainstream attention, but Clarence Thomas’ 1991 Supreme Court confirmation hearings are an underrated political and cultural event of the ‘90s. Aside from the obvious stakes (a lifetime Supreme Court seat) and controversial issues raised (allegations of sexual harassment in the workplace), it also served as a defining moment for an emerging generation of liberals and conservatives. It was that hearing (along with talk radio) that helped guide a young liberal kid named Andrew Breitbart onto a course that would culminate in his becoming one of the most important conservative voices in the new media.  

It’s not surprising, then, that HBO would release a new dramatization titled, Confirmation , 25 years after the hearings (airing Saturday night). Controversy abounds, as usual (see HBO’s Game Change  —  or any political biopic). Republicans are often the sole victims of political productions, but — according to insiders who have seen the film or early script versions — this one could also tarnish the legacy of at least one prominent Democrat, Vice President Joseph R. Biden.