Actor Jeffrey Wright is still struggling with the fact that America voted to elect Donald Trump President of the United States.
On the morning after Election Day, the politically outspoken actor had tweeted: “May the election of Trump bring forth the fiercest, smartest, toughest generation of ass-kicking women this country could possibly imagine.”
Asked what motivated that post-election message, Wright told the Daily Beast in an interview this week that the tweet came in reaction to his 11-year-old daughter’s “deep disappointment” over the results.
“It was twofold,” Wright explained. “One, disappointment that that glass ceiling for women had not been fully destroyed but, as well, that America had elected someone more overtly vulgar and misogynist than we’ve ever seen on a national political stage. So that was for my daughter and all the daughters.”
Wright — who has won a Tony, Emmy and Golden Globe award — has been very vocal about his disdain for the President-elect.
In February, the Hunger Games and Westworld star wrote a heartfelt Instagram post praising Hillary Clinton and declaring that she “should be the next President of the United States.”
Days after Trump defeated Clinton, Wright added his name to a petition calling for electors in the Electoral College to disregard state voters’ wishes and vote Clinton president.
“Nearly 3M have signed. Sign it, at the very least, to send a message that the fight against Trump did not end Nov 8.,” he wrote on Twitter.
A month later, Wright is still upset about the election results and has deep sympathy for those Americans still protesting Trump’s victory.
“You can’t expect political hostility not to be met with resistance,” Wright said. “It was overtly discussed that Trump’s campaign was appealing to a certain anger within a certain segment of the populace that boiled up into hostility for those outside of that circle. And so no matter what your judgment is about our country and its politics, if you don’t have the judgment to realize that that type of emotion will be met with response from those who feel targeted by it, then you just don’t understand basic human behavior.”
“I think it’s perfectly normal, perfectly healthy for our democracy,” he continued. “We’re talking about a president-elect who spent eight years attempting to delegitimize his predecessor in the most indecent ways. So it’s asking a lot of those who didn’t support a candidate like that to react gracefully to the ungraceful.”
The 51-year-old star is currently being celebrated for his portrayal of Dr. Bernard Lowe, head of the programming division and creator of artificial people, in the much-lauded HBO sci-fi series Westworld.
Wright was the subject of was he describes as a police profiling incident in 2009. The actor says he was pepper-sprayed and maced and treated unfairly because of his color. That said, he still believes that policing and the criminal justice system, while not prefect, certainly work better for minorities than they did a quarter century ago.
“You know, despite the events of the last couple of years, progress has been made to some extent when you contextualize these things relative to, for example, 25 years ago when many inner cities were war zones for young black men in terms of the murder rate,” he told the Daily Beast. “But there’s so much progress that needs to be driven now. One of the major disappointments of this election is that it seems that that progress will be muted to some extent.”