Confirmation (film)

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Confirmation poster.jpg
Television release poster
Written by Susannah Grant
Directed by Rick Famuyiwa
Theme music composer Harry Gregson-Williams
Country of origin United States
Original language(s) English
Producer(s) Darren M. Demetre
Cinematography Rachel Morrison
Editor(s) Dirk Westervelt
Running time 110 minutes
Production company(s)
Original network HBO
Original release
  • April 16, 2016 (2016-04-16)

Confirmation is a 2016 American television political thriller film, directed by Rick Famuyiwa and written by Susannah Grant. It is about Clarence Thomas' Supreme Court nomination hearings, and the controversy that unfolded when Anita Hill alleged she was sexually harassed by Thomas. It stars Kerry Washington as Hill and Wendell Pierce as Clarence Thomas, as well as Erika Christensen, Jennifer Hudson, Greg Kinnear, Jeffrey Wright, Bill Irwin, and Eric Stonestreet in supporting roles. The film aired on HBO on April 16, 2016.[1]


Anita Hill, now a law professor at Oklahoma University is contacted and questioned about Clarence Thomas. Hill, the former employee of Clarence Thomas is prompted to speak about Thomas' treatment of her in the workplace. Her allegation of sexual harassment is leaked, and a media frenzy ensues. A hearing takes place in which Anita tells the Senate Judiciary Committee that, inter alia, Clarence Thomas sexually harassed her 10 years prior. From there, a slew of events unfold as the Committee, with the world watching, tries to figure out who is telling the truth.




On March 12, 2015, it was announced that Kerry Washington would star as Anita Hill in an HBO television film.[2] Kerry Washington's role on ABC Network's hit television show, Scandal, is loosely based on Judy Smith's real life character. On April 28, Wendell Pierce was cast as Clarence Thomas.[3] On May 12, Eric Stonestreet joined as Kenneth Duberstein.[4] Greg Kinnear, Jennifer Hudson, and Jeffrey Wright were reported to have joined the cast as Joe Biden, Angela Wright, and Charles Ogletree on May 29.[5] On June 5, Bill Irwin and Treat Williams joined to portray John Danforth and Ted Kennedy.[6] Later that same day, Erika Christensen, Cobie Smulders, Dylan Baker, and Grace Gummer were cast as Shirley Wiegand, Harriet Grant, Orrin Hatch, and Ricki Seidman, respectively.[7] On June 16, Kimberly Elise, Kristen Ariza, and Malcolm Gets joined the cast as Sonia Jarvis, Judy Smith, and Arlen Specter, respectively.[8] On July 2, Daniel Sauli was cast as Mark Paoletta.[9] On July 9, it was reported that Smulders had exited the film due to her breaking her leg; Zoe Lister-Jones was then confirmed to replace her in the role of Harriet Grant.[10]


Principal photography began in Atlanta, Georgia on June 14, 2015, and it was completed on July 24.[11]


Confirmation received mostly positive reviews from critics, who praised Washington's performance as Hill and the film's depiction of its subject matter. The review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes gave the film an approval rating of 79%, based on 39 reviews, with an average rating of 6.7/10. The site's critical consensus reads, "Stellar performances and gripping subject matter help Confirmation overcome production values that occasionally feel as dated as the infamous real-life case it covers." On Metacritic the film has a score of 72 out of 100, based on 25 critics, indicating "generally favorable reviews."

Awards and nominations[edit]

Year Award Category Recipients Outcome
2016 Primetime Emmy Award Outstanding Television Movie Confirmation Nominated
Outstanding Lead Actress in a Limited Series or a Movie Kerry Washington Nominated
Critics' Choice Television Award Best Movie/Limited Series Confirmation Nominated
Best Actress in a Movie/Limited Series Kerry Washington Nominated
2017 Satellite Award Best Miniseries or Television Film Confirmation Nominated
Best Actor – Miniseries or Television Film Wendell Pierce Nominated
Best Actress – Miniseries or Television Film Kerry Washington Nominated
Writers Guild of America Award Long Form – Original Susannah Grant Won
Golden Globe Award Best Actress – Miniseries or Television Film Kerry Washington Nominated
Screen Actors Guild Award Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Television Movie or Limited Series Kerry Washington Nominated


During the film credits the onscreen text claims that because of Hill's accusation of sexual harassment, more women were elected to public office in 1992 than previous periods, official sexual harassment complaints doubled, and an important workplace discrimination law was passed (referring to the Civil Rights Act of 1991).[12]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Petski, Denise (February 2, 2016). "'Confirmation' Premiere Date Set By HBO". Deadline Hollywood. 
  2. ^ Goldberg, Lesley (March 12, 2015). "Kerry Washington to Star as Anita Hill in HBO Movie 'Confirmation' (Exclusive)". The Hollywood Reporter. 
  3. ^ Goldberg, Lesley (April 28, 2015). "Wendell Pierce Set as Clarence Thomas in HBO's 'Confirmation' (Exclusive)". The Hollywood Reporter. 
  4. ^ Goldberg, Lesley (May 12, 2015). "Eric Stonestreet to Co-Star in HBO's Anita Hill Pic, 'Confirmation' (Exclusive)". The Hollywood Reporter. 
  5. ^ Goldberg, Lesley (May 29, 2015). "Jennifer Hudson, Greg Kinnear, Jeffrey Wright Join HBO's 'Confirmation'". The Hollywood Reporter. 
  6. ^ Goldberg, Lesley; Stanhope, Kate (June 5, 2015). "Treat Williams, Bill Irwin Join HBO's 'Confirmation' (Exclusive)". The Hollywood Reporter. 
  7. ^ Andreeva, Nellie (June 5, 2015). "Erika Christensen, Cobie Smulders, Dylan Baker & Grace Gummer Join HBO Movie 'Confirmation'". Deadline Hollywood. 
  8. ^ Petski, Denise (June 16, 2015). "Kimberly Elise, Kristen Ariza & Malcolm Gets Join HBO Movie 'Confirmation'". Deadline Hollywood. 
  9. ^ Petski, Denise (July 2, 2015). "Daniel Sauli Joins HBO Movie 'Confirmation'; Jonathan Whitesell In ABC Family Pilot 'Beyond'". Deadline Hollywood. 
  10. ^ Petski, Denise (July 9, 2015). "Zoe Lister-Jones Joins HBO Movie 'Confirmation' In Recasting". Deadline Hollywood. 
  11. ^ "Confirmation - Production Listing". Backstage. Retrieved July 6, 2015. 
  12. ^ HBO’s series about the Anita Hill–Clarence Thomas hearings proves that scandal plus time equals riveting TV Slate April 15, 2016.

External links[edit]