Four-time Oscar-winning director Steven Spielberg believes Meryl Streep’s role as famed Washington Post publisher Katharine Graham in his new film, The Post, helps make the much-hyped freedom of the press drama “a feminist movie.”
“She was very confident that they made the right decision, that her father should have given it to her husband because he was so brilliant,” Spielberg said of Graham, who inherited her father’s newspaper empire after her husband’s death. “She had always minimized herself… and our story is about how this amazing woman found her voice.”
In The Post, Streep’s Graham leads Post editor Ben Bradlee, played by Tom Hanks, and a crack team of reporters in the race to beat The New York Times in publishing highly secretive documents exposing decades of government cover-ups and deceit during the Vietnam War.
“It’s a feminist story. It’s a political story. It’s a kind of action news story about chasing down a story. And the courage it takes to keep the First Amendment rights preserved and to respect the free press and keep it free,” he said.
On the perception of Streep as a “feminist,” however, public opinion suggests that a majority “now feel negatively towards the once beloved Streep[.],” after the actress claimed she “didn’t know” about the alleged sexual misconduct allegation against Harvey Weinstein, whom she once referred to as “God.”
Earlier this month, Spielberg revealed how reading the script for the Nixon-era film gave him a sense of “fear” and urgency that made him realize “this was the only year to make this film.”
“The gray and the blue have become the blue and the red. And it is as vast a chasm as our nation faced before the Civil War. I’ve never seen anything like it,” the veteran director said of the current climate in America.
The Post hits theaters on December 22, 2017.