Airdate: Movie: Confirmation


HBO telemovie Confirmation airs on Sunday, pulling back the curtain on the 1991 Supreme Court nomination hearings of Clarence Thomas.

Kerry Washington, Wendell Pierce and Greg Kinnear star in the drama of a man whose Supreme Court nomination came under fire when a former employee, Anita Hill, accused him of sexual harassment.

Written by Susannah Grant (Oscar nominee for Erin Brockovich) and directed by Rick Famuyiwa (Dope), Confirmation details the explosive 1991 Clarence Thomas Supreme Court nomination hearings, which brought the country to a standstill and became a pivotal moment in American culture, forever changing how we perceive and experience workplace equality and gender politics.

A highly-charged drama involving a plethora of real-life figures from America’s recent political past, the film is set 25 years ago, when the country was riveted by the televised nomination hearings of Thomas (Wendell Pierce), a District of Columbia judge whose nomination was stalled after a former employee, Anita Hill (Kerry Washington), asserted he had sexually harassed her when she worked under him at the Department of Education and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.

Confirmation brings viewers behind the scenes as members of the Senate Judiciary Committee, led by chairman Joe Biden (Greg Kinnear), argued whether or not to extend the hearings, while supporters of Hill and Thomas attacked and parried from the sidelines. Eventually the Senate decided to hear Hill and Thomas’ testimony before the full Senate voted on his confirmation. The film recreates the riveting drama that unfolded in public and behind closed doors, focusing on Thomas and Hill and their support teams as well as key Committee members and advisors including Senator Joe Biden, Ted Kennedy, Arlen Specter, Orrin Hatch, Alan Simpson, John Danforth, Ken Duberstein, and others. Eventually, and after not calling a second woman, Angela Wright (Jennifer Hudson), to testify regarding her sexual harassment claims against Thomas, the full senate voted 52-48 to confirm the nomination – but not before irreparable damage had been done, both to the accused and his accuser.

8:30pm Sunday May 22 on Showcase.


  1. This is the kind of situation that Kerry Washington’s Scandal character Olivia Pope would have handled.

    Not only that Scandal Executive Producer Judy Smith and the inspiration for Olivia Pope is depicted in Confirmation, but not played by Washington, as Smith had worked for the first Bush White House when these real life events happened.

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