Harrelson Denounces Bush's “Oil-Garchy,” Movie Character Paints Anita Hill as Victim

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<img vspace="0" hspace="0" border="0" align="right" src="/media/2005-10-11-CBSLSDLHarrelson.jpg" />Actor <a href="http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0000437/">Woody Harrelson</a>, appearing on Tuesday’s <a href="http://www.cbs.com/latenight/lateshow/"><i>Late Show with David Letterman</i></a>, denounced “this oil-garchy that calls itself our executive branch” and complained about the “petrochemical industry taking over the world.&quot; Then viewers saw a clip of him playing a lawyer in a new movie, <a href="http://northcountrymovie.warnerbros.com/"><i>North Country</i></a>, in which his character paints Anita Hill as a maligned victim as he warns a sexual harassment victim about how she’ll be characterized in court as a “nut” or a “slut” since “right has nothing to do with the real world. Look at Anita Hill, because she's you.” That movie, opening next week, is based on a book by former <i>Newsweek</i> White House reporter Clara Bingham, <a href="http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/0385496133/qid=1129093175/... Action: The Story of Lois Jenson and the Landmark Case that Changed Sexual Harassment Law</i></a>. <br /><br />The Internet Movie Database's <a href="http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0395972/">plot summary for the film</a>: &quot;A fictionalized account of the first major successful sexual harassment case in the United States -- Jenson vs. Eveleth Mines, where a woman who endured a range of abuse while working as a miner filed and won the landmark 1984 lawsuit.&quot; That would place the lawsuit filing seven years before anyone heard of Anita Hill. (More of what Harrelson told Letterman follows.)<br /> <P>
<!--break--> Harrelson, who took off the last five years to live a “sustainable” lifestyle in Hawaii (solar power, growing own food), forwarded the usual litany of environmentalist scare-mongering: “I do think that we're in big trouble. I mean, you look at the signs. They're all around us, the tsunamis, the hurricanes, all of it predicted, the melting of the polar ice caps....”<br /><br />The exchange, about politics and Harrelson’s environmental views, on the October 11<i> Late Show</i>:</p><blockquote>Letterman: “In your estimation, if, in fact, you subscribe to the theory that the planet has been damaged, is it correctable? Is it too late? Have we gone too far?”<br /><br />Harrelson: “Well, you know, I am an optimist, Dave. I do think that we're in big trouble. I mean, you look at the signs. They're all around us, the tsunamis, the hurricanes, all of it predicted, the melting of the polar ice caps. This has all been predicted 20, 25 years ago by scientists and it's all coming to fruition. So I think we're in a serious situation, but I think the main thing we’ve got do is get off fossil fuels. Fossil fuels are really destructive.”<br /><br />Letterman: “That would then start a reduction in the rising temperature? Is that the way that would work?” <br /><br />Harrelson: “Well, it would take a while before it will affect it, but especially because it seems like these darn, this oil-garchy that calls itself our executive branch and all the people associated with them are making a lot of money. So I think it's going to take a while to turn around. But I do know a lot of people who, you know, you can buy a Mercedes that is a diesel engine or any kind of diesel car and you can run bio-diesel.”<br /><br />Letterman: “What is bio-diesel?”<br /><br />Harrelson: “Bio-diesel is vegetable oil along with ethanol or methanol and some kind of PH balancer. But Rudolph Diesel, when he designed that engine, he meant for it to run off of vegetable oil from the farmers. I don't think he imagined any petrochemical industry taking over the world.” </blockquote><br />A bit later, Letterman ran a clip from the movie <i>North Country</i> in which Harrelson plays “Bill White,” a lawyer who takes on the case of Minnesota miner “Josey Aimes,” played by <a href="http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0000234/">Charlize Theron</a>. In the scene, Aimes/Theron stands at the edge of an ice rink as White/Harrelson skates around with a hockey stick and shoots a puck:<br /><blockquote>“White,” played by Harrelson: “Look, Josey, the illusion is that all your problems are solved in court. The reality is that even when you win you don't win.”<br /><br />“Aimes,” played by Theron: “I know, but I’m right.”<br /><br />Harrelson’s character: “Well, I’m sure you are but right has nothing to do with the real world. Look at Anita Hill, because she's you. You think you’re out-gunned at the mine? Wait until you get to a courtroom. It’s called the nuts and sluts defense. You're either nuts and you imagine it or you're a slut and you asked for it. Either way it's not pleasant. Take my advice. Find another job, start over.”<br /><br />Theron’s character: “I don’t have any start over left.” </blockquote><br />

Brent Baker
Brent Baker
Brent Baker is the Steven P.J. Wood Senior Fellow and VP for Research and Publications at the Media Research Center