tv New Day With John Berman and Brianna Keilar CNN October 27, 2021 5:00am-6:00am PDT
guy. positive guy. so, you know, i think -- i'm hoping this piece shows is it is not just about colin kaepernick. y wayou watch that is and think are the steps on my journey? we go through six big events in his early childhood that really kind of change the course and made him who he is today. >> i think back at how long this has been for colin kaepernick. >> yeah, a while. >> from the moment he went from just a very good super bowl playing quarterback to all of a sudden being a lightning rod. >> six years, i think. >> six years. does he feel like it's worth it? >> i don't know. it is hard to say what he feels. i know in working with him, you know, he really has something he wants to say, wants to express, doesn't do interviews, he's not there on the press. so i felt fortunate that he interested me with the story. and he's expressed himself through his work. >> ava duvernay on her new
netflix series "colin black and white." and "new day" continues right now. good morning to viewers here in the united states and around the world. it is wednesday, october 27th. i'm brianna keilar alongside john berman today. and this morning, there are some new developments in the investigation of the fatal shooting on the set of alec baldwin movie's "rust." the d.a. in new mexico says she hasn't ruled out criminal charges in the death of cinematographer halyna hutchins, telling "the new york times" that the term prop gun is misloding because the gun that killed hutchins was a legit gun. according to court documents obtained by cnn, a fannie pack with ammunition was also seized along with two ammo boxes and loose ammo from a tray. >> and for first time since the fatal shooting, one of the film's actors is speaking out. ian hudson says he felt vulnerable during his scenes, especially the shooting scenes. listen. >> everyone on the camera crew was protected by shields.
and the camera was protected by a shield. so that made me question me being in front of the camera, and sort of in between all that fire. when the rounds were released, when they shot at me, i actually did feel the blanks hitting my face and my body. and i could feel the wind from the shotgun, you know, being discharged. it was heavy. it was strong. brandon lee, having died in '93, you know, that conversation came up a couple of times between my fellow cast members and i. >> joining me now is oscar-nominated cinematographer rachel morrison. rachel, we're so glad to speak with you this morning because in the wake of this, you are saying that guns have no place on sets. tell us why.
>> you know, technology has been advancing at a very rapid pace. and, you know, blanks were intended to make a sound and a lighting effect that now we can do -- the sound is easy on set, but we can do everything in visual sets. there is a movement now, there are many cinematographers forming a letter that will go out wide in the next week and i think there are petitions on change.org, but basically to get live fire banned from film sets. >> rachel, i can't imagine how this has been shaking your community of filmmakers. and, you know, i imagine that many of you think, hey, this could have been me. how are you receiving this, how is your community receiving what's happened? >> i mean, we're gutted. we're devastated. in my case obviously it hits particularly close to home as one of very few female cinematographers. halyna was my age, she had a son
around the same age as mine. but we have all been in the situation. it is not about, you know, i don't think it is as simple as blanks and in this case, i mean, the level of negligence it took to get to that, it is not commonplace on a film set by any means. but, you know, the hours that we work and the sleep deprivation that led to certain other decisions and careless actions, that is something we all have been through. and also just, look, as a cinematographer who cares about what i do, like halyna, undoubtedly loved her craft, right, you know, there is nothing we won't do to get the shot. i think this is a real wake-up call that no film is as important as a human life. >> we heard from -- we're hearing now from ian hudson, the star of the film, he said that on the set there was discussion about the death of brandon lee in "the crow", decades before. do you think that's normal on any set where there are guns,
where there is even fake gunfire? is that something that gets discussed or is that abnormal to you? >> you know, really there are layers of protection in place, you know, because of brandon lee. what should have happened is a prop master or armorer should have kept the gun in a locked box, should have checked it that morning, should have checked it again before bringing it to set, should have showed the empty cleared gun cleared of all cartridges to the first ada, to all of the actors, to anybody who wants to see the gun is clear. we have all of these measures in place so that this doesn't happen. so the fact that it did is not only an anomaly, but it is, i mean, it is appalling to those of us in the film industry. this is so not how it is supposed to work. but then again, you know, the conduct of blanks, what it is is a quarter load of ammunition, which is why there is a similarity in the way that they look, and that's why i think,
you know, we're all making efforts to make it so you just -- it is rubber guns or nothing. or completely, you know, repurpose, like, people keep referring to this as a prop gun, but it is not. it is a gun that fires. a prop gun isn't capable of discharging any kind of ammunition. >> look, we had on a prop master yesterday who was explaining and showed us a prop gun, even ones that might accept some blanks don't accept bullets that have a projectile. they don't have the capability, ideally, to do what a live gun does. what a real gun does. this was a real gun. it wasn't a prop gun. this gun accepted bullets. you mentioned the different layers, the different problems that led to this outcome. do you think there should be criminal charges based on what we're finding out? >> i mean, there should be a deep investigation, you know.
i think there are many people culpable in this incident to be honest. the warning signs about this production in particular were there early. and the fact that nobody rushed in to, you know, make it -- hold it accountable and make sure things were being done by the book is, you know, it is not as simple as one person pulling a trigger. i think there are several people accountable in this case. >> what about alec baldwin as a producer on the film? >> i mean, i can't speak to that. i think as a human, i have no doubt he's traumatized, you know, probably beyond anything any of us can reckon with. as a producer and as a seasoned veteran in the movie industry, i think, he probably maybe more than anyone else on the set who sounds like the median age was in their 20s, he should have known that maybe handing you a gun and saying it is cold isn't the same as several people
showing you an empty gun. i think obviously things in the wake of covid have been altered, you know, in trying to kind of pair down people's exposure to the virus, things are being -- corners are being cut for pandemic reasons, but this is not -- this is not a corner you cut. so i don't know. i don't really want to speak to a culpability, i just think everybody should have known better on that set, everybody. >> yeah. it is a very important question that you raised too about potential corners cut during the pandemic as well. rachel morrison, thank you so much. we know that -- we know this is hitting all of you very hard and we thank you for joining us this morning. >> thank you. new this morning, democrats have just released the details of what they are calling a billionaire's income tax. this comes as a race to strike a deal on president biden's economic agenda before he heads overseas for the g-20 summit.
but there are many key sticking points still on the table. kaitlan collins live at the white house with some of the problems and some of the new proposals. >> reporter: these aren't just sticking points, these are major issues they need to come to an agreement, a compromise on if they are going to have some sort of framework. they're aiming to have by the end of the day, by the time the president boards air force one. it seems unlikely he is going to go on this trip overseas without a deal on happened, based on where we are right now. there are main issues here, one as you're noting is this billionaire's tax that has come out and the details of this proposal which have been long awaited this essentially a way they're devising to pay for this plan. this would target the wealthiest of the wealthiest americans. it would extract $300 billion basese ed on this proposal so f.
it would go after the value of their liquid assets, but the question of whether or not that's feasible is still a big one. and whether or not all 50 democrats will be on board with it is a big one. those are big questions as well. it is also not just about how to pay for this, john. it is also what is the price tag of this bill going to be. what are they going to come to an agreement on when it comes to medicaid and medicare expansion. immigration, climate, there are several main issues in here in addition to things like paid leave. they still do not come to an agreement on. so i think you hear a lot of optimism from democrats, but whether or not that matches up with what you're seeing when it comes to tangible agreements between the progressives and the moderates, it seems like it could be a reach for the president to have a deal in his hands by the time he leaves for rome or is scheduled to leave tomorrow morning. >> kaitlan collins at the white house. thank you very much. let's find out about how one of those 50 key votes in the senate might feel about this. joining me now, a democratic
senator from connecticut, chris murphy. i hope your family stayed dry during the nor'easter. i appreciate you joining us this morning. what can you tell us about where things stand on all of this dealmaking this morning? what are you hearing? >> well, at the heart of this is an effort by the president, democrats in congress to try to shift the balance of economic power in this country, during the pandemic those billionaires you're talking about saw their wealth grow by $1.5 trillion. 700 people in this country are now worth $4.5 trillion. compare that to the poorest 50% of americans, who are worth less than half that. that can't be sustained in a democracy. so what we're trying to do is ask the wealthy, the very wealthy, to pay their fair share in order to finance some improvements in regular people's lives. in connecticut, people are struggling with paying for child
care. and so we need to ask those billionaires to help regular average middle class families aed for to be able to send their kids to day care. i think we're very close to a deal. i think this new proposal to ask the 700 billionaires in the country, to pay a share of taxes on their wealth increase on an annual basis makes a lot of sense. it will be supported by the broad extent of the american public. i hope we'll have a deal by the end of the day. >> is this billionaire's income tax as it is being called the best way to do it in your mind or the best available way to do this in your mind? >> we have to thread a very narrow needle in the senate. we have 50 democrats with the vice president breaking the tie. i think each one of us would probably do this differently. if it were up to me, i would repeal the trump tax cuts where the vast majority of the benefit went to the top income earners.
but this is, i think, a very creative way, and i think a very economically sound way to ask the very wealthy to pay more. what happens when you have this many people who are worth billions of dollars is that they report very little in income on an annual basis. so jeff bezos pays very little in taxes, compared to his wealth, because he's actually just using his wealth to borrow money to finance his lifestyle. so we're trying to find a way to look at these billionaires who have huge amounts of money in the bank, and ask them to pay based on that wealth. not just based on the relatively small amount of money that they report as income on an annual basis. >> how badly does this deal need to come together before the president gets on a plane to go to europe roughly 24 hours from now? >> i mean, we should get this right, but there is a reason why we would like to get this deal done before the president leaves. it is not an arbitrary deadline.
the president on this trip is going to the u.n. climate summit in glasgow. part of the build back better agenda is we hope the biggest down payment on america's contribution to solving climate change in the history of this country. doing it by creating a lot of jobs in renewable energy. it would be good for the president to have an agreement on the big back better bill which includes a major contribution to america's commitment on climate change reduction when he goes to glasgow. so, again, it is not essential. there is nothing in the law that requires the deal to be done by the end of the day. but america's power at that summit will be enhanced if this deal is done. >> even if the deal does get done in the next 24 hours, in your mind, is he bringing enough to glasgow on climate change? this has far less in terms of climate change than you were hoping for. >> it does. but the good news on climate is
that there are a lot of levers to press. so some of my colleagues, senator manchin in particular, has ruled out, you know, some of the more comprehensive approaches to climate, like incentivizing electricity distributors to bring new -- more renewable energy on to the grid. but i think there can be agreement on tax incentives for consumers, and businesses to build renewable energy. there can be consensus around the buildout of electric technology in this country, modernizing the power grid so we can bring more offshore wind and solar on to the grid. i think we can send the president to glasgow with a sizable package on greenhouse gas reductions. it might not be as big as some of us would like, but i would still argue that it will end up being the most significant piece of climate legislation that congress has ever passed. >> we'll see.
if he is able to bring it, if it does get done in the next 24 hours, that's very much up in the air. ennis canter for the boston celtics has been very direct about the treatment of uyghurs, very critical, and critical of nike for continuing to do business with china. what is your view on this and what ennis canter is saying? >> well, first of all, i'm a big boston celtics fan and ennis canter fan and i think the nba should reward its players for telling the truth. i think american corporations should start getting an ethical backbone when it comes it dealings with china. it is a genocide. and too many u.s. industries have been bending over backwards to try to paper over what is happening in china. you see hollywood studio over hollywood studio refusing to put out movies that are critical in any way, shape or form of the chinese government.
you now have pressure on the nba to censor its players when they're telling the truth about what is happening in a foreign country. this matters deeply to ennis because he is being persecuted now by the turkish government. if he went back to his home country, he would be arrested largely simply for his political views. so while i understand not every american company is going to unwind their business in china immediately, at the very least they shouldn't be engaged in self-censorship about the truth with respect to the brutal treatment of the muslim uyghur minority inside china. we should be able to allow corporations and the people who work for those corporations to stand up and tell the truth. >> senator chris murphy from connecticut, go celtics, i appreciate you being with us this morning. thank you. >> thanks. kids ages 5 to 11 could begin getting vaccinated as early as next week. could this mark the beginning of the end of the pandemic? and a judge rules that the man shot and killed by kyle
rittenhouse cannot be called victims. what is allowed, calling them rioters and looters. why? our next guest says kyrie irving and dave chappelle are being used as he puts it as black pawns on a white chess board. when did you see the signs? when i needed to create a better visitor experience. improve our workflow. attract new customers. that's when fastsigns recommended fleet graphics.
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two prominent black americans kyrie irving of the brooklyn nets and comedian dave chappelle put off controversies in their own ways. irving for refusing to get vaccinated and chappelle for telling jokes about transgendered people. now in a new piece for "deadspin", koran philips writes kyrie irving and dave chappelle are being used as black pawns on a white chess board and he's joining us to talk about that, a senior writer and editor at "deadspin." great to see you this morning. explain what you mean here when you say that they're getting played. >> we're looking at two people who i feel originally started out with good intent. but doesn't matter if you have good intentions if your execution is poor and if we look back at the starting with kyrie irving, with all the charitable things he's done over the last year and a half, especially in
the pandemic, this was a guy who always has been a little bit eccentric in his thoughts and beliefs, but a phenomenal basketball player. this is the same man that bought a house for a family, donated millions, and this is someone who was a little hesitant for the players going to play in the bubble in the nba because he didn't want the focus to be right back on basketball in terms of the movement that was happening last summer. so when you line that up with what irving has done in the past compared to what is going on now and we saw what happened sunday at the barclay center outside the arena where people were rioting for him, a guy that was doing all of that for his community and people that looked like me and him, when you looked outside and saw those riots or whatever you want to name -- or the police unions trying to walk across the strike in terms of going against vaccine mandates,
something in his philosophy that i thought -- i think that was pure at heart at the beginning has been taken over now. and the people that were against his stance last year and against, you know, black lives matter and these type of things that we're talking about are now using him to, you know, push back against vaccine mandates. and the same thing is happening with dave chappelle. this is not the same guy who left comedy central $50 million on the table for doing the pixy skit and the black white supremacists and all that, he said in one of the specials, he said for years i talked about hating white people, not the lgbtq community and transgenders, but now if you look at the people that are supporting both of these men, they aren't the people that they always stood against. >> so i want to ask you, you write irving and chappelle's narcissism has left them blind to the fact that they have become puppets in a real time minstrel show in the hands that are pulling the strings are
white. i do want to challenge you on this because obviously i'm sure the gentlemen who are the subject of your column would, does that ignore the fact that dave chappelle has a lot of support, a ton of support in the black community and in the case of kyrie irving, black americans, they account for a smaller percentage of the population, they are disproportionately vaccine hesitant. these are men who do have support in the black community, including for their views here. what do you say to that? >> they do. and i'm not ignoring that, and you brought up a good point. but if you're going to step up and speak out and use your platform, then that means you have to come with -- when you make poor decisions in terms of positive and negative ramifications from that. we're looking at a situation now with kyrie irving and the nba where he wants to step up in the past and be a voice. you're using it in the wrong position now. we need this vaccine, we all
lived through this for the past year and a half going on two years now. follow the science. all of these terms like free thinking or i need to do more research, what exactly does that mean? what can google do in your 20 minute search that is going to make you smarter than scientists and doctors who have done this for years? so you can be that voice, getting people to get their shots, but, no, you have this flawed stance that you feel like your rights are being taken away when getting shots to go to school, to go to work, to go to college and universities, and something we have been doing for decades. and in terms for dave chappelle, yes, you know, people do agree with him and feel like he should be able to say what he wants to because, you know, that's what comedy has always been. but just because comedy has always been that, that doesn't mean it has to continue to be that. we all have to grow and evolve and be better, and dave chappelle, it seems like he's trying to be the leader of this
comedy genre and he's, like, we should be allowed to say what we want to say without any ramifications. that's not true for anyone, especially in this moment right now where we're all trying to be better and we're trying to hold the people accountable that don't want to be. >> carron, it was a fascinating column. i encourage our viewers to check it out and i appreciate you talking about it with us. thanks. >> thanks for having me. new controversy erupting around the kyle rittenhouse murder trial. a judge rules that the men he shot and killed cannot be called victims, but they can be called looters. and breaking news moments ago, chairman of the joint chiefs general mark milley, just like ned china's missile test t a sputnik moment. this is my granddaughter...she's cute like her grandpa. voya doesn't just help me get to retirement... ...they're with me all the way through it.
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police shooting. the judge at a pretrial hearing set some ground rules that generated huge controversy. he ruled that the people that rittenhouse killed, the dead people, cannot be called victims but they can be called rioters, looters and arsonists. >> the word victim is a loaded word. and i think alleged victim is a cousin to it. let the evidence show what the evidence shows and if the evidence shows that any or more than one of these people were engaged in arson, rioting or looting, then i'm not going to tell the defense they can't call them that. >> chief legal analyst jeffrey toobin joins us now. no to victim, yes to rioters, jeffrey. what do you make of this? >> it is a very weird -- it is a very weird ruling.
it is worth pointing out that there are some judges who don't like the word victim in their courtroom because they do feel it is prejudicial. it assumes the conclusion of the trial. most judges don't do that. but some do. this judge apparently does it in all his cases. that's one thing. and if that's a consistent policy, that's -- that's understandable. what's very weird is allowing this extremely pejorative, assuming the conclusion words of rioters and looters which all and all should help rittenhouse's defense a great deal. >> yeah, if calling the dead people victims is prejudicial, you would think that likewise calling them rioters or arsonists or looters would be prejudicial also. >> well, highly. and that's the argument the prosecutor made in court yesterday, unsuccessfully. and i think, you know, it is a
very troubling situation because, again, using that word suggests that rittenhouse was justified in what he was doing, because these were bad people that he shot, they were committing crimes, they were out there looting, they were out there being arsonists, when that is very much in dispute in the trial, just, you know, what these people were doing. and, remember, it is not the -- it is not the victims who are on trial here, it is rittenhouse. so you can see why a lot of people are upset about this preliminary ruling. and we'll see if the judge revisit it as the trial progresses. >> once it starts, it starts, right? once the attorneys use the word, they use the word. they can't put the jenigenie ban the bottle. i know it is law 101, but if the prosecution feels like the whole trial turned on this pretrial decision and they lose, and kyle rittenhouse is acquitted, it is
not like they can appeal down the line, correct? >> that's right. that's one of the things that, you know, as a former prosecutor i certainly remember is that, you know, prosecutors usually do well in court with judge -- rulings from judges. but the big difference between prosecutors and defense lawyers is that, you know, defense lawyers can always appeal down the road. if you get an acquittal, and you feel you got an unfair ruling by the judge, well, it is too bad. you don't get another shot. there is no such thing as a prosecution appeal after the trial. and that is what prosecutors are worried about. and also, you know, you can't separate the -- the racial politics of this situation. the whole issue here is whether kyle rittenhouse was a vigilante and whether he was, you know, acting out of racial animus and to essentially convict his victims in advance of the trial
of looting, of arson, of crimes for which they are, you know, as dead people they can't be charged, it is really troubling and really unnecessary and unfortunate beginning to this really important case. >> what is done is done. jeffrey toobin, appreciate you being with us this morning. >> all right. so what is going on with the queen's health? she just canceled on next week's key climate conference, just days after a hospital stay. and this hit right there, cost the atlanta braves its star pitcher in game one of the world series. (man 1) oh, this looks like we're in a screen saver. (man 2) yeah, but we need to go higher. (man 1) higher. (man 2) definitely higher. (man 1) we're like yodeling high. [yodeling] yo-de-le-he... (man 2) hey, no. uh-uh, don't do that. (man 1) we should go even higher! (man 2) yeah, let's do it.
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children in the u.s. with shots rolling out as early as next week. the santa fe district attorney says the gun that killed halyna hutchins was a quote legit gun, a real gun, not a prop gun. and the d.a.'s office has not ruled out criminal charges in the fatal shooting involving alec baldwin on this movie set. democrats release the details of what they're calling a billionaire's income tax to use as funding for president biden's social spending plan. the proposal would tax billionaires on the gain in value of certain assets every year instead of only the time of sale. this would affect about 700 to 800 taxpayers in the entire country. queen elizabeth pulling out of next week's key global climate summit in glasgow, scotland, on advice from her doctors to rest. the 95-year-old monarch did an overnight stay in the hospital last week for preliminary investigations. she plans to send along a video address in her absence. the atlanta braves won game one of the world series 6-2, but
they lost their starting pitcher charlie morton. he was hit in the leg by a comeback in the second inning, taken out in the third inning with a fractured fibula. he pictched on a broken leg. he's done for the season. game two is tonight in houston. 5 things to know for your "new day." have more on all these stories all day on cnn and cnn.com and don't forget to download the 5 things podcast every morning. just go to cnn.com/5things and find it wherever you get your podcasts. >> swoosh. i like the swoosh. >> swoosh. breaking news, moments ago the chairman of the joint chiefs general mark milley just likend china's suspected missile test to a sputnik moment. and why toni morrison's pulitzer prize winning novel "beloved" has become the latest flashpoint in the virginia governor's race. reality check is next.
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breaking news, america's top military officer general mark milley is sounding the alarm about china's recent nuclear capable hypersonic weapons test. >> i've always felt it was a very significant event of a test of a hypersonic weapons system, and it is very concerning. i think i saw in some of the newspapers they used the term sputnik moment. i don't know if it is quite a sputnik moment, but i think it is close to that. i think it is a very significant technological event that occurred or test that occurred by the chinese. and it has all of our attention. >> very close to a sputnik moment, general milley comparing
the china test to the launch of the first satellite which gave them an edge in the space race early on. the brand-new remarks underscore the biden administration's escalating concern about beijing's military capabilities. they have done a successful hypersonic test, the u.s. really hasn't. a nobel prize winning novel has just become the latest flashpoint in the virginia governor's race. john avlon has our reality check. >> one week from today we'll wake up to see who won the governor's race in virginia. polls show the contest too close to call between democrat terry mcauliffe and republican glenn youngkin. typically virginia acts as a counterweight to a new president, electing a governor from the opposition party in ten of the last 11 elections. so when mcauliffe tries to tie his opponent to trump and pivot to economic plans, youngkin is a test case for the gop's midterm playbook. he's a wealthy businessman walking the line, refusing to denounce trump's lies, while also declining to campaign with him, trying to make the campaign about culture war wedge issues
instead. but culture war crusades can lead to awkward places. you milght remember in march, youngkin was trying to resist the alleged banning of dr. seuss' books. but free speech arguments only go so far. so one week from election day, the youngkin campaign released an ad where a mother called for banning a book that she found offensive. >> when my son showed me his reading assignment, my heart sunk. it was some of the most explicit material you can imagine. >> so few things about that. the book in question was "beloved" by toni morrison, winner of the nobel prize in literature. it is a novel about escape from slavery and yes, it contains some rough scenes, totally consistent with the horrific subject matter. but the book wasn't named in the ad. neither was the fact that it was assigned to her son almost a
decade ago, in a senior ap english class, which is optional. also unmentioned is the fact that the allegedly traumatized teen is now reportedly a associate general counsel for the national republican congressional committee. or that the book is reportedly required reading in the school. claims seem to fade when they're about books the other side doesn't look. critical race theory, youngkin says he wants to ban from virginia schools despite not much evidence it is taught in virginia schools. that doesn't really matter, because it is a constant refrain on right wing talk tv. get this, according to lexisnexis, critical race theory has been mentioned 2,175 times on fox news this year alone. those transcripts don't cover all their shows.
just by comparison, the january 6th commission has been mentioned just 78 times. so you can see where their priorities are. scaring white people while ignoring accountability for attempted coup. but, hey, tomato, tomato, right? seriously though, if a book detailing the hourers of slavery is so offensive, wait until folks learn about the real thing, which they most certainly would not have done if they read some of the official virginia state approved textbooks back when glenn youngkin was a kid. because according to an essay in washington monthly magazine, some of those books said, quote, the colony was determined to preserve the racial purity of the whites, which was the foundation on which virginia's handling of the racial issue rests. not only that, the textbook asserted that, quote, the death of the negro race owes to virginia and the south has never been less recognized than it is today. now, that's racial indoctrination. muscle memory of the desegregation efforts that put those textbooks out of
circulation are one reason why local school board fights can feel so loaded in the south, but reckoning with that history isn't going to be resolved by calling everyone on the other side of the aisle racist. instead, it is evidence of why we need to confront our shared history, the successes and the failures, so that we can learn from the past, live up to our ideals and continue to try to form a more perfect union. that's your reality check. john avlon, thank you so much for that. the fbi raid that led to the conviction of former nsa contractor reality winner is now a broadway thriller. the director joining us live. my retirement plan with voya keeps me moving forward... even after paying for this. love you, sweetheart they guide me with achievable steps that give me confidence. this is my granddaughter...she's cute like her grandpa. voya doesn't just help me get to retirement... ...they're with me all the way through it. come on, grandpa! later. got grandpa things to do. aw, grandpas are the best! well planned. well invested. well protected.
broadway is back and it is bringing us the drama of a real life national security scandal. former intelligence contractor reality winner was sentenced to five years in prison for leaking evidence of russian interference in u.s. elections and now you can see the transcript of her fbi interrogation performed live verbatim in a new broadway show called "is this a room." joining us is tina sater, she serves as its director and emily davis is the star of the show playing reality winner in "is this a room". thank you to both of you for joining us on set this morning. first to you, tina. you conceived of this, you were reading about reality winner and you were reading the transcript and thought this is a play, why? >> it was just the language on the page and the fact that i knew this woman as i was reading it was in prison already.
and i -- she has this encounter with the agents. i'm, like, how does this actually go down? at first they're saying hello and talking to her about her pets. i'm, like, when does this turn to the fact where she gets caught. it felt like a thriller to me on the page. and this incredible young woman's personality was coming through. so it really felt like a rich document to make into a play. >> it is quite the transcript, right? it has every verbal tick, every stutter. the interview goes in weird directions which felt like a experimental playwright you would see or familiar with. >> it felt like work i had made and seen, top level security conversations that diverges into a question of where is a cat. it was mixing the binnal geopolitics and in the moment surrealness in such a fascinating way. and it was real. it actually happened. >> what has it been like playing
reality winner? >> i think i approached this role as i approached any other acting part, you know, going into it with as much integrity as i could. i think what's particular about this is we worked on this show for so many years now that actually i learned more about this person, so that definitely has influenced how i thought about, you know, arriving each night to the show. but she is endlessly compelling. so, like, part of my work has always been to keep considering the things that keep drawing me back in. because i continue to learn more about her literally daily. >> she got a hefty sentence for what she did, for releasing this information. what did you learn about her specifically that you did bring to the performance? >> well, i mean, reading the transcript or when we turned it into a play, like i said, i sort of thought of it as i would any
other character. you only have the words on the page and you're making educated guesses about how that person might move through the world, how they might stand, how they might register discomfort visually, what their voice might sound like, and then as i corresponded with reality early in the process, and i could really feel her sense of humor through the early letters that we had and that sort of, i think, was probably the most impactful, like, real world knowledge that i got from her. >> during the curtain call in the opening night, you actually received a zoom call. she's very aware that you have this show going on. you received a zoom call from winner and her family. what was that like? >> it was just incredibly moving to share this night because it is such a platform for this horrible day in their life, but also the resilience of that family and reality who want, like, wanted reality's freedom but also feel like a lot of the issues that were at question of this day in her life should get
more attention. and that people should talk about these and have discourse on them, and maybe not agree, but all should get to think and talk about how this and why this went down. >> it sounds like you're not trying to impose opinion on the audience, but what are they taking away from it? >> i think people still don't know who reality winner is. they don't understand necessarily how or why the espionage act works. there is some dry stuff there. but it is, like, people are really fascinated to sort of see this machine of the state at work because we have this, like, window into a day when an fbi interrogation actually happened. so i think people have a range of thoughts and feelings on it, for sure. >> i think it is a fascinating approach, and i love the idea of this. so thank you so much for talking to us about it. >> thank you. >> cnn's coverage continues right now.