Spicer takes aim at Tom Hanks over Trump comments
The Post actor said he would likely shun a White House screening, citing neo-Nazi rallies in the US and a racially-charged comment by the president.
Donald Trump’s former press secretary Sean Spicer has criticised Tom Hanks for saying he would not want to attend a White House screening of his new film, The Post.
Hanks, who plays a Washington Post editor in the critically-praised film, had said he would likely take a stand against such a showcasing, citing neo-Nazi rallies and a racially-charged jibe made by the president.
Mr Spicer said it was a “sad commentary” that the actor was not willing to engage with the president, when he appeared on Mr Trump-supporting news channel, Fox News, on Thursday.
In an interview published this week, Hanks was asked by The Hollywood Reporter whether he would attend a screening of the film with six Golden Globe nominations at the president’s request.
“I would not have been able to imagine that we would be living in a country where neo-Nazis are doing torchlight parades in Charlottesville and jokes about Pocahontas are being made in front of the Navajo code talkers,” Hanks said.
“And individually we have to decide when we take to the ramparts.
“We have to start voting, actually, before the election. So, I would probably vote not to go.”
Mr Spicer, who resigned from his role in July, lamented that it was now “kind of cool” to shun visiting the president.
He added: “And I think, for people like Tom Hanks, who is a great film producer and director, he should take the lead and maybe say, ‘You know what, I want to go talk to the president about these important issues that were brought up in my movie, The Post.’”
The Steven Spielberg film, out in the UK next month, centres on the newspaper’s fight in the 1970s to publish the Pentagon Papers, which brought to light damning revelations about the US’s role in the Vietnam War.
Hanks, who stars as editor Ben Bradlee, is a vocal supporter of free speech and the press, having once sent a coffee machine to journalists covering the White House to help them “keep up the good fight” following Mr Trump’s election.