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“People are going to wake up in time. The spell will be broken in time,” Roach told the Hollywood Reporter on Tuesday at the Banff World Media Festival.
Stand-up comedian Russell Peters also got serious Tuesday when he ripped Trump ahead of receiving the Sir Peter Ustinov Comedy Award in Banff. “People need to wake up,” said Peters. “Sure, he’s saying some crazy stuff, and you think it’s entertaining right now. But it’s not how you want your country run.”
Roach, who directed All the Way, HBO’s Lyndon B. Johnson biopic starring Bryan Cranston, predicted a happier ending to the 2016 presidential election, compared to the increasingly bitterly divisive campaigning now underway.
At the same time, the helmer warned that the issues that deeply concern Trump supporters need to be tackled. “I do think that the issues that have emerged are real,” said Roach. “The people who are drawn to his [Trump’s] movement, to be part of those crowds, they have real concerns and they are to be taken very seriously.
“They are not to be dismissed,” he continued regarding Trump supporters. “So many people have been pushed out of how things go in our country, and he’s found a way to organize that into, in my opinion, an emotional response that’s fear-based.”
Roach also slammed the “us-versus-them” divisiveness that he sees behind Trump’s support.
“Tribalism in its worst form is a kind of human curse,” the filmmaker argued. “We do best when we cooperate.” Roach pointed to LBJ’s can-do attitude to government and improving peoples’ lives during the 1960s, in contrast to Trump’s current disdain for Washington and political experience.
Canadian-born Peters also later compared Trump to Osama Bin Laden. “If you put Osama Bin Laden and Donald Trump together, they’re both the same people — both spoiled brat sons of rich developers who were angry at their own country,” he said.
The comic, who was recently a judge on NBC’s Last Comic Standing and is starting work this week opposite Amanda Seyfried and Leah Remini in the indie comedy The Clapper, accepted that Trump doesn’t want to be politically correct. But anyone running to be the U.S. president has to be politically correct, he argued. “You have to think about what you’re saying, and how you answer people,” said Peters.
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