Acclaimed actor Stanley Tucci believes journalists and the freedom of the press are under serious threat in the current political climate, due in no small part to President Trump's rhetoric.
“We see the extreme right growing in so many countries now, including our own, and we saw what happened the other day too, to the CNN reporter,” said Tucci, who appeared on BuzzFeed News’ newest episode of Profile on Sunday.
The actor was referring to CNN's chief White House correspondent, Jim Acosta, whose access was suspended after he refused to relinquish the microphone at a press conference while he was asking a question about the Russia investigation.
Tucci also pointed to Montana Rep. Greg Gianforte, who as a candidate was charged with assault after allegedly getting into a physical altercation with a Guardian reporter covering his campaign.
"We saw what happened during the campaign with the Guardian reporter, and it's very, very, very disturbing," Tucci said.
Tucci has appeared in a number of popular movies, from Julie & Julia and The Devil Wears Prada to The Hunger Games and Easy A. In his latest film, Private War, Tucci plays Tony Shaw, the love interest of roving war correspondent Marie Colvin, who died covering the Syrian civil war in 2012. Tucci said the film does an accurate job of depicting what suppressing press freedom looks like.
"We see an extreme version of it, because they're literally targeting with bombs and missiles. They're targeting these reporters in our country,” he said. "We don't have that yet, but we have the beginnings of that and I think, Wow."
As far as whether the state of journalism will continue to get worse, Tucci said he hopes the midterm elections will “start to change things a little bit for the better.” But he added that the threat that reporters are facing is rooted in Trump using the phrase “fake news.”
“The idea of saying that so many things are fake news, saying that real news is fake news, changing people's way of thinking by making these very bold statements and just the repetition of them, you know, people start to believe it's true,” Tucci said. "And that's really scary."
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