On Friday, The Hollywood Reporter broke the news that the Trump administration had solicited a copy of Steven Spielberg’s Oscar-bait drama The Post—a request that will be honored by the film’s distributor, 20th Century Fox:
“President Donald Trump's team has requested, and been granted, access to the 20th Century Fox political drama for both 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. and Camp David, where the president is scheduled to host a summit on Saturday and Sunday with top GOP lawmakers.”
The news seemed—at first glance—a bit jarring, given that one of the film’s stars, Tom Hanks, recently said he wouldn’t attend a Trump-hosted screening of the film at the White House, his costar Meryl Streep very publicly called out the president at last year’s Golden Globes, and that Spielberg explained how he chose to make the film, about The Washington Post and New York Times choosing to publish the top-secret Pentagon Papers revealing the extent of U.S. government involvement during the Vietnam War, because of the frightening parallels between the Nixon administration and that of President Trump, whose war against the fourth estate, which he’s branded “fake news” (he loves his catchphrases), is well-worn.
“I could not believe the similarities between today and what happened with the Nixon administration against their avowed enemies The New York Times and The Washington Post. I realized this was the only year to make this film,” Spielberg told THR.
The Daily Beast spoke with Leslee Dart, the representative for The Post stars Meryl Streep (who plays Post publisher Katherine Graham) and Tom Hanks (playing Post executive editor Ben Bradlee), who stated that Streep, Hank and the rest of the cast have no qualms with the Trump administration screening the film at the White House or elsewhere.
“There was absolutely no resistance by the cast or anyone,” said Dart.
Meanwhile, the film’s distributor, 20th Century Fox, confirmed to The Daily Beast that the Trump administration had requested—and received—a copy of the film. They could not confirm who exactly requested the film or if the request came on behalf of President Trump himself, but told us that the request “came in to the distribution team who OKs it when requests come through,” and that this practice is “routine through multiple administrations.”
“I’ve never personally heard of a scenario where a screening hasn’t happened,” the 20th Century Fox representative told The Daily Beast.
It remains to be seen, however, if President Trump himself will be screening The Post. After all, the president has a notoriously short attention span, is a Philistine, and once, according to a lengthy profile of the former real estate mogul in The New Yorker, “got bored” about twenty minutes into the John Travolta-starrer Michael (understandable) and switched to one of his “favorite” films: the Jean-Claude Van Damme actioner Bloodsport, making his son fast-forward so he only viewed the fight sequences.
“By assigning to his son the task of fast-forwarding through all the plot exposition—Trump’s goal being ‘to get this two-hour movie down to forty-five minutes’—he eliminated any lulls between the nose hammering, kidney tenderizing, and shin whacking,” the magazine reported.
Requests for comment from the Trump White House have thus far fallen on deaf ears—although it appears that they, at present, have bigger fish to fry.