Hollywood star Tom Hanks has warned that attempting to de-legitimise the press could lead to “very, very scary territory”.
The actor – who has previously been critical of US President Donald Trump’s attacks on the media – said there is currently a “guerilla war” being conducted against the press.
Hanks, whose new film The Post is about The Washington Post’s controversial decision to report on the Pentagon Papers in 1971, said: “It is sort of like chaos by any means.
“You begin by de-legitimising the free press and by doing that you draw the truth into question.
“As soon as you start saying, well we have our opinion of what the truth is, then you can get into very, very scary territory that is not inclusive, that does not take into the rights of everybody, that is actually trying to form a more closed and closed off union.
“As opposed to the more perfect union that the preamble of our Constitution sets out to do.”
Speaking at the premiere of The Post in London, Hanks continued: “You are entitled to your own opinion. Have those until the cows come home.
“But you are not entitled to your own facts. There are facts that are empirical, that are provable, that are confirmable.
“You deny that and you are so in the wind you are going to reap the whirlwind.”
Asked what Trump might get from the movie, Hanks joked: “20 bucks of rock ’em sock ’em entertainment!”
The actor, who co-stars with Meryl Streep, said it is particularly timely because it deals with freedom of the press but also in that it addresses gender equality.
He said: “We caught up with a tempest that was not just about political and not just about history, but is actually about what is going on in every boardroom, cafeteria, house, classroom, press line in the world right now.
“Which is addressing the gender issues that, guess what, have not just been the elephant in the room for an awfully long time.
“It has actually been the elephant and the gorilla and the lion and the tiger and the camel in the room, and everybody has just not been paying attention to any of them.”