Return to Transcripts main page


Outrage Over George Floyd's Death Sparks Changes In Entertainment Industry; COVID-19 Cases, Hospitalization On The Rise In Multiple States; Widespread Voting Problems Plague Georgia Primary. Aired 12:30-1p ET

Aired June 10, 2020 - 12:30   ET



EVAN PEREZ, CNN SENIOR JUSTICE CORRESPONDENT: -- officials in those cities is that they're seeing mostly local, sometimes criminal gangs, criminal organizations that took advantage of the protests essentially and took the opportunity to carry out crimes, looting, destroying police cars, attacking police.

They're seeing a much different picture from what we're hearing from folks inside this building here at the Justice Department with the Attorney General is sort of parroting the language from the President who says that this is all Antifa. It's all leftist groups that were causing some of the chaos, again, that would accompany some of the legitimate protests that went on in the last couple of weeks.

Again, you if you're seeing indications that there were gangs, who traveled in caravans coordinated their hits on, you know, some of the shopping districts in Los Angeles, in New York City, in Seattle, and so that's what we're hearing from officials.

So there are more than 50 cases that have been brought by federal prosecutors, federal investigators in the last couple of weeks. A lot of rioting, some of it is attacking police. What we haven't seen is any Antifa. What we have seen is a couple of extremists on the right, people associated with the Boogaloo boys.

Now we hear from officials that they are seeing intelligence indicates Antifa was involved in some of this. And they expect that they're going to be able to bring some of those cases. But Kate, you have to look back and see how often it is that the President says something on Twitter, and then it's up to the Department see -- the agencies in his government to try to make that true.

KATE BOLDUAN, CNN HOST: That's not the way it should work ever, especially here. Evan, thank you.

PEREZ: Sure.

BOLDUAN: Coming up next, the reality T.V. show long run reality T.V. show "Cops" pulled off the air cancelled after the death of George Floyd? Are more changes coming to film and screen? And what is the role of Hollywood in this moment? (COMMERCIAL BREAK)


BOLDUAN: The nationwide outrage over the death of George Floyd is spilling over into the world of entertainment. Paramount just announced that it is canceling the show "Cops" one of the longest running shows in T.V. history. Really "Cops" was expected to be premiering its 33rd season next week.

Also HBO Max which like CNN is owned by Warner media has announced its pulling the 1939 Classic "Gone with the Wind" out of rotation temporarily, a spokesperson for HBO Max saying this that, these racist depictions were wrong then and are wrong today, and we felt that to keep this title up without an explanation and a denouncement of those depictions would be irresponsible.

On Saturday, actor, Michael B. Jordan, he spoke out about another aspect of race in Hollywood.


MICHAEL B. JORDAN, ACTOR: He committed to a 50-50 gender parity in 2020. Where's the challenge to commit the black hiring? Black content led by black executives, black consultants. Are you policing our storytelling, as well? So let us bring our darkness to the light. Black culture, the sneakers, sports, comedic culture that you guys love so much, we've dealt with discrimination at every turn. Can you help fund black brands, companies, cultural leaders, black organizations?


BOLDUAN: Joining me right now is Stephanie Allain, producer and founder of Homegrown Film. She's the studio executive behind the groundbreaking "Boyz n the Hood" and she's produced, I can't list them all here of course, all of your projects, Stephanie but movies including "Hustle and Flow" and "Dear White People." Thanks for being here.

You fought through your words and your work for years for diversity and more inclusion in Hollywood. And you speak up very powerfully on this, what's your reaction to these moves that I mentioned off the top the cancelling of cops and pulling of "Gone with the Wind"?

STEPHANIE ALLAIN, HOLLYWOOD PRODUCER: Well, I think it's necessary. I mean, I think that without context for a movie, like "Gone with the Wind", that you need to have that kind of context to talk about it. It's part of our history. It's part of our film history. It's part of American history.

It can't -- I don't think it can be tucked away and forgotten. I think we have to look at it. But I think it has to be looked at within the context of racism, slavery, the war, where we are today.

BOLDUAN: And I'm really curious, your thoughts kind of more broadly. What do you see in this moment after George Floyd's death, the protests that are demanding change and so many industries, already responding and even real signs of real legislative reforms in the works are coming? What is the role of Hollywood in this?

ALLAIN: Well, first of all, it's very exciting. It's exciting to be part of the change, to agitate for change, and to really go out and make it happen. Because for so long, I mean, I've been doing this work in Hollywood for a long time with the Academy, the Producers Guild, Reframe, Women in Film. This is all systemic work that has been happening all along and incrementally change has happened.

But the fact of the matter is that now I think, you know, I get so many calls from my white friends who I love and people in Hollywood that I hang out with, they're smart, they're kind. I wouldn't call them racist, they're liberal. But I think everybody realizes that now is the time when you can't just sit on the sidelines.

You can't -- you have to be actively anti-racist. That's what has to happen now. And I think what Michael B. is talking about is absolutely right. We've been talking about this for years. Black executives at the table, gatekeepers who make decisions about what kind movies they want to see. That's how change happens, black critics who can review our movies with sort of cultural understanding that a lot of white critics don't have.


This is just -- it's just necessary change and it can happen now. I feel I'm really excited because I feel like it can happen and that everybody is really galvanizing together to create this change.

BOLDUAN: Because it gets to also, it's not just entertainment, it gets to that whole concept of you can only be -- you can't be what you can't see. And you can't understand what you don't open yourself up to. And I think there's something more than just, there should be more representation in the things we'd like to watch and listen to, but it is a real societal impact.

ALLAIN: It is. It is. And black and brown people over index at the movie theater so they spend more money and our content is important. It's important. I knew this on "Boyz n the Hood" and John Singleton who are love dearly, really taught me that the specificity of our stories is universal. And it teaches people that we're human too.

You know, we have the same faults, we have the same loves. We come of age. That's what people need to see. And I saw the impact of that movie how people called me and they said, I had no idea. These are boys out there, you know. So I'm excited to continue my work. And I feel like Hollywood is ready, finally, to really do something. And I really hope that this isn't just a week or two of talk, because that's not going to cut it. We need real change.

BOLDUAN: Yes, you know, Samuel Jackson was on with Anderson this week. And he said that this feels to him like a moment of real change, kind of akin to the 60s when he was young activists. Do you feel the same that this is -- this moment is different? ALLAIN: I do. I was too young for that. So I wasn't there then. But I feel it now. Because literally the calls that I'm getting, they're different. Calls I'm getting from my best friend saying, I'm so ashamed. I didn't realize what you're going through. I didn't realize how systemic this is. I didn't realize that by doing nothing, I'm part of the problem.

And I've never heard that before. I have never heard that before. But it goes beyond that. What I've been saying to my friends is call your schools, call your schools demand a diverse curriculum, because we need to teach our kids about the middle passage about how slavery, how America was built on the backs of black people.

People don't know that. And if the kids don't grow up with that sort of cultural understanding, how are they going to work in the world without it, they won't. They'll just keep in their silo, keep in their safe bubble, but the fact of the matter is the bubble is about to pop. And it has popped. And I think people feel that. That's why there's so many people out on the streets.

And I think we also have to really get involved in local politics. Local politics creates so many rules and regulations and puts people in charge of our lives. We need to know who those people are. We need to research them. We need to vote. We can't just wait until you know, every four years for the President and Vice President. We need to get involved now.

BOLDUAN: Well, thanks for your leadership for many, many years. And thanks for coming on. I really appreciate it.

ALLAIN: Thank you. Thanks for having me. Kate.

BOLDUAN: Thanks.

Up next for us, North Carolina seeing a record high in number of patients hospitalized for the coronavirus. What is behind this sudden rise? The latest on the pandemic, next.



BOLDUAN: Public health experts have warned that as states reopen, there would be further spread of coronavirus cases and that is exactly what we seem to be seeing right now in at least 19 states, Oregon, Hawaii, Arizona, Florida, Michigan, and Vermont are all experiencing at least a 50 percent increase in cases.

But here is what is even more worrying. Twelve states are seeing a surge in hospitalizations. North Carolina has actually broken its previous record for COVID-19 hospitalizations if you can believe it at this point. And Arizona has told hospitals to activate emergency plans.

Let me bring in Dr. Ashish Jha, the director of the Harvard Global Institute. It's great to have you back. Doctor, how do you analyze these trends in this moment? Are these spikes inevitable? Or are they signs of trouble?

DR. ASHISH JHA, DIRECTOR, HARVARD GLOBAL HEALTH INSTITUTE: Well, they're concerning is how I would describe it and not surprising. As the country opens up, we do expect increases in cases.

And basically the only way to keep case loads low is to have a really aggressive testing and isolation infrastructure which we don't quite have or maintain social distancing. Those are really our only two strategies. And what we've seen across the country is as the country is opened up, we have started seeing cases go up in places.

And it worries me because there's no obvious way to stop it without shutting down or without really aggressively increasing our testing capacity.

BOLDUAN: And that's actually what I was going to ask you. Because there is a sense among many in the public, especially it feels since Memorial Day that they're ready to just live alongside the virus and take risks. And I wonder what that means then when the only solution is, at the moment, to lock back down. It seems troubling.

JHA: Yes. So I think right now, you know, most Americans are not ready to lock back down and I completely understand that. Here's the bottom line, though, which is that I understand people are willing to live alongside this virus, it means that between 800 and 1,000 Americans are going to die every single day. We're going to get another hundred thousand deaths by September. So that's a catastrophic cost.


And we might see in some places exponential growth where we start seeing really rapid increases in cases. And that's very scary. So that's what we have to try to prevent. And we really do have to try to figure out how to bring the case loads down from these scary levels in some states.

BOLDUAN: We're also learning today kind of on the vaccine front that the Federal Government is going to be funding critical studies this summer for three potential vaccines. One of these phase three trials is they say, set to begin in next month, which surprised me even. What do you think of this timeline? And can you just remind folks what all can happen in phase three, the fact that the government is going to -- is pushing forward in these this critical phase? What does it mean?

JHA: Yes. So this is all generally good news. It means that vaccine development is continuing to tick along and I think it's great. Phase three is usually the very large clinical trial where you have -- hopefully we'll have tens of thousands of people in the trial, a half the people will get the vaccine, half the people won't.

And then we will track those people over time to look both for a safety signal to make sure people who got it don't have a bad reaction as well as an efficacy signal to really make sure that people who are getting the vaccine aren't getting the virus and aren't getting sick from the virus. So, but you have to not only vaccinate a lot of folks and get a lot of controls. But you also have to track people over time in a careful way.

BOLDUAN: And in time, that is the key here. What is the timeline? How long does it take? And honestly what comes of it? Is it effective and safe in the end?

Doctor, it's always good to have you, thank you.

JHA: Thank you.

Coming up for us, long lines voting machines not working. That was Election Day in Georgia. Look at these lines people, a total mess. How is this still happening in 2020? And is this a preview of November?



BOLDUAN: In Georgia, a disastrous day of primary voting. There's really no other way to put it. Voters in line for hours, absentee ballots that went AWOL, polling stations in several counties had to stay open well into the night because of it all.

The Atlanta Journal Constitution calling it a complete meltdown on its front page. CNN's Abby Phillip has more.



ABBY PHILLIP, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): A disaster in Georgia.

LATOSHA BROWN, CO-FOUNDER AT BLACK VOTERS MATTER FUND: We have people that are waiting in line in a health epidemic for four, five, six, seven hours. It is unconscionable.

(voice-over): As massive lines out of service voting machines, inexperienced poll workers and delayed absentee ballots create a perfect storm of Election Day problems that could foreshadow trouble ahead for the general election in November.


(voice-over): The state was one of the first led by a Republican Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger to send absentee ballot applications to all of the nearly 7 million eligible registered voters because of the coronavirus pandemic. But something was wrong.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We're just being told, it's a situation with the machinery.

LaTosha Brown co-founder of Black Voters Matter makes ensuring access to the ballot her life's work. But she was stunned to find herself waiting for hours to cast her ballot and potentially being exposed to the coronavirus.

BROWN: I stood in line for three hours.

(voice-over): She drove around town to different polling locations noticing a clear disparity.

BROWN: On the side of town consistently on the black polling sites it went to one after the other, including my own, people have been in line waiting for four, five hours.

(voice-over): On election morning Thiery Jean, who works as a caregiver took a client to vote in Sandy Springs, a mostly white higher income part of Fulton County.

THIERY JEAN, ATLANTA VOTER: He was in and out in seven minutes, but I live here in Southwest Atlanta so this is where I have to go vote. And I've been in line for at least 30 minutes already and I don't --

(voice-over): Jean stood in line for nearly two hours. Courts ordering polling locations that opened late or had other problems to remain open past the 7:00 p.m. closing time. And state officials including Atlanta's mayor, urging voters to stay in line to cast their ballots.

Basketball star, LeBron James, weighing in tweeting, everyone talking about how do we fix this? They say, go out and vote. What about asking if how we vote is also structurally racist.

In Georgia, the official whose office oversees elections, pointed his finger at some county officials.

RAFFENSPERGER: It's just totally disorganized mess. They had three additional months to get ready for this. What did they do? They squandered that time.

(voice-over): Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger and other state officials calling for an investigation into the problems. His office says 96 percent of absentee ballots were delivered to the more than 1.5 million voters who requested them as of last week.

But voters waiting in line at polling places complained they never received them. So they voted in person adding to the long lines.

LIZ HAUSMANN, FULTON COUNTY COMMISSIONER, DISTRICT 1: So many people are talking today would not have been in line if they had gotten that ballot back. And the counties process those.

(voice-over): In this potential battleground state, a warning for the rest of the country.

HAUSMANN: So we have a lot of corrections to make for the future. You know, I don't want to say I'm embarrassed, I'm disappointed. To me, it's a series of bad decisions and bad management.


PHILLIP: A lot of people I spoke to today who are in this election business say, this is a red flashing warning sign for November. A lot of states believe they are prepared but they're not. They have manpower issues that are related to the virus. They also will face problems of volume.

We are seeing extraordinarily high turnout in Georgia all over the country. Many people choosing to vote by mail and these counties don't have enough people to process these ballots. And also they need -- they're realizing that they need to keep in person voting a viable option because many, many voters as we can see from those lines, still want to be able to vote in person. Kate?


BOLDUAN: Yes. I'm so tired of calls for investigations after the fact. They've got -- it's their job --