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Interview With Emma Thompson; Gun Reform; Interview with "Good Luck to You, Leo Grande" Actress Emma Thompson; Interview with U.S. Special Envoy to Monitor and Combat Anti-Semitism Deborah Lipstadt. Aired 1-2p ET
Aired June 10, 2022 - 13:00:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
CHRISTIANE AMANPOUR, CNN INTERNATIONAL HOST: Hello, everyone, and welcome to AMANPOUR.
Here's what's coming up.
REP. LIZ CHENEY (R-WY): On the morning of January 6, President Donald Trump's intention was to remain president of the United States.
AMANPOUR (voice-over): Coming to you in prime time, the January 6 insurrection hearings. We have the latest about that fateful day.
CAMERON KASKY, GUN REFORM ADVOCATE: People have asked me, do you think any change is going to come from this? Look around. We are the change.
(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE)
AMANPOUR: In 2018, he survived the Parkland school massacre and started the March For Our Lives movement. Now, after another wave of mass
shootings, Cameron Kasky and his fellow activists go to Washington again.
EMMA THOMPSON, ACTRESS: Are you real?
AMANPOUR: Two-time Oscar winner Emma Thompson's boldest role yet, the groundbreaking new film "Good Luck to You, Leo Grande."
She joins me to talk about a woman's sexual pleasure and finally feeling at home in her body on film and in life.
DEBORAH LIPSTADT, U.S. SPECIAL ENVOY TO MONITOR AND COMBAT ANTISEMITISM: Antisemitism has this unique characteristic, unlike most of the prejudices,
of being at its heart a conspiracy theory.
AMANPOUR: Deborah Lipstadt, the Biden administration's newly appointed special envoy to combat antisemitism, joins Walter Isaacson.
AMANPOUR: Welcome to the program, everyone. I'm Christiane Amanpour in London.
It was a dark day that transfixed America and the world, when a sea of Trump supporters stormed the U.S. Capitol on January 6, 2021, hoping to
overturn Joe Biden's election victory. Five people died in the melee.
Now, 17 months later, the much anticipated first public hearings of the committee investigating the insurrection has taken place.
Here's a look at what was revealed in the first of six prime-time sessions dubbed one of the single most important congressional investigations in
history by the Republican committee member Liz Cheney.
REP. BENNIE THOMPSON (D-MS): This isn't easy to watch. I want to warn everyone that this video includes violence and the strong language.
NARRATOR (voice-over): The Democratic chair of the January 6 Committee sending out a grim warning before unveiling never-before-seen evidence of
the attack on the nation's Capitol unfolding.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I am not allowed to say what's going to happen today, because everyone's just going to have to watch for themselves. But it's
going to happen. Something's going to happen.
PROTESTERS: Whose streets? Our streets!
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: House members, they're all walking over now through the tunnels.
NARRATOR: The committee unveiling chilling evidence alleging that former President Donald Trump agreed with chants that former Vice President Mike
Pence should be hanged.
RIOTERS: Hang Mike Pence! Hang Mike Pence!
CHENEY: The president responded with this sentiment -- quote -- "Maybe our supporters have the right idea." Mike Pence -- quote -- "deserves it."
NARRATOR: At least for Trump aides testify that they told him and his team that he lost reelection.
WILLIAM BARR, FORMER U.S. ATTORNEY GENERAL: I made it clear I did not agree with the idea of saying the election was stolen and putting out this
stuff, which I told the president was (EXPLETIVE DELETED).
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: How did that affect your perspective about the election when Attorney General Barr made that statement?
IVANKA TRUMP, FORMER TRUMP WHITE HOUSE ADVISER: It affected my perspective. I respect Attorney General Barr.
NARRATOR: Despite making findings public, the committee is pressing that the investigation is still ongoing.
CHENEY: What we make public here will not be the complete set of information we will ultimately disclose.
AMANPOUR: And the other big issue on this week's agenda was gun violence.
While President Biden says that he won't abuse his executive power to enact gun restrictions, a bipartisan group of senators say they are making
progress on bills designed to prevent gun deaths.
Here's Senator Chris Murphy of Connecticut, the leading Democratic negotiator.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. CHRIS MURPHY (D-CT): I don't think you can be anything other than comparatively optimistic.
I have been part of many, many negotiations before since Sandy Hook. Obviously, my life is devoted to this cause on behalf of the victims, and I
have never been part of a negotiation that's this serious.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
AMANPOUR: And Murphy's Republican counterpart, Senator John Cornyn, says that he is optimistic a deal can be reached on the floor by the end of the
But few people are monitoring this as closely as my next guest. Cameron Kasky was 17 years old when a gunman stormed his high school in Parkland,
Florida, in 2018; 17 people were killed that day.
The massacre propelled him and other survivors to start a gun control movement, which saw more than a million people flood the streets across the
country in the March For Our Lives. Now they have called for another march this Saturday.
So I asked Cameron what hope he has for change at this time.
AMANPOUR: Cameron Kasky, welcome to the program.
KASKY: Thanks for having me.
AMANPOUR: You know, I want to start by asking you something personal, because you have been through this before.
And I just wonder, when you hear about, when you watch, when you have to talk about what happens in these instances, given that you have been
through it, how does it affect you? Does it trigger?
KASKY: It brings me right back to when countless American politicians told me that my generation was going to be the generation to make a change.
It brings me back to 2020 campaign promises about gun reform that are being completely unfulfilled. And it reminds me that my children are going to be
fearing for their lives when they're in school, because our political system is not allowing for any change to be made.
AMANPOUR: Do you remember that day?
KASKY: Yes, I certainly do.
And that day was traumatic. That day is something that countless Americans have to face. And that day -- the experience of being in a mass shooting,
the experience of hiding under a desk and not knowing if the next person to come into the classroom is going to be the SWAT team or a mass murderer,
that's something that countless other people are going to have to deal with.
And it's not going to slow down.
AMANPOUR: Cameron, the testimony on Capitol Hill from the survivors, the parents, the families, those who had a lot to do with Uvalde and what
happened to the kids there has been heart-wrenching.
I want to play you a little bit of the testimony from Kim Rubio. Her 10- year-old daughter, Lexi, was killed. And this is what she told everybody when she testified.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
KIMBERLY RUBIO, MOTHER OF SHOOTING VICTIM: We promised to get her ice cream that evening. We told her we loved her and we would pick her up after
I left my daughter at that school. And that decision will haunt me for the rest of my life.
Somewhere out there, there's a mom listening to our testimony, thinking, I can't even imagine their pain, not knowing that our reality will one day be
hers, unless we act now.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
AMANPOUR: So there you have the mom and the dad. And I wonder what you think when you when you hear that, because it's almost like what people
said after Parkland and after every time these things happen.
Do you have any hope this time that something might change?
KASKY: Well, after President Biden went on "Kimmel" Wednesday night to say that he doesn't want to use any executive orders to get anything done
because he does not want to be like Donald Trump, meanwhile, children at the border are still in cages, Biden is still pumping the police and
military with money, so I don't know why he's saying he doesn't want to be like Donald Trump.
He's happy to pull from Trump's playbook when it's convenient for him.
But when I see videos like that, I think about the fact that one thing the United States and the U.K. have in common is the fact that, when black and
brown children are being murdered, America, they don't care, right?
Parkland was such a gargantuan moment in our culture because the people who were being murdered were mostly white. And that's how it works in this
country. The Buffalo shooting only got so much media coverage because the victims of the Buffalo shooting were black. And in the United States, black
lives, the lives of brown children, the lives of people who are not white are really not considered.
AMANPOUR: And I guess most of the victims in Uvalde were of Hispanic origin, of Hispanic heritage. And yet there does seem to be a little bit of
Again, we don't know. The deal hasn't been made. The votes haven't been taken. But we hear from both a senior Democratic senator and a senior
Republican senator that there may be some movement on things like juvenile records, again, hardening schools, putting more resources into mental
I guess my question to you is, if they can reach any kind of new limitations, let's say, is it better to take it or to hold out for the
KASKY: I hear excuses, excuses, excuses. The Democratic Party is weak, and they cannot make anything happen. They can't even get their own people in
Joe Biden can't control Manchin and Sinema. When Donald Trump was president, and there were Republicans who were against him and against his
messaging and against his policies, he beat them into submission until they were eating out of his palm. Joe Biden hardly ever even mentions the
obstruction of Manchin and Sinema.
So all of these all of these hardening schools, like, all of these bipartisan solutions, they're excuses, and they are a waste.
Spoiler alert, everybody: Nothing's going to happen that substantial in the Senate. And if anything passes in the Senate, it's probably going to be
pretty bad. Hardening schools, those policies normally involve pumping money into the police, putting black and brown children at risk of
discrimination from the police. And it's awful.
The Democrats are more than happy to let the Republicans set the goalposts, because the -- why would they want to make any change happen? We have to
win elections in 2022. It's a real shame.
AMANPOUR: So, Cameron, I obviously can hear your anger. And I obviously understand it, for sure, because of what you have been through, and because
of what the United States goes through.
You have said, your movement has said that, since the Parkland shooting, and since you started March For Our Lives, some 175,000 Americans have been
killed in gun attacks.
So, let me ask you, did the wonderful march in which millions poured into the streets in 2018 after the shooting at your school. You're doing another
one this weekend. If it's not Congress, then it's the people, right? It's you, I guess, and it's a huge burden.
Do you think you can move the dial?
KASKY: I think that one thing people can do is look at the winnable races for the Democrats, right? There's Mandela Barnes specifically in Wisconsin.
He can beat Ron Johnson. And that's just one example of the races that are winnable.
We can't give up hope. I speak with a very, very bleak tone about this because I prefer honesty over the DNC talking points. But we need to focus
on the victories that are achievable. We need to get everybody voting. And I hate to say that, because, hey, you got to vote is one of the
quintessential go-to lazy excuses for not making change. Alas, we have no option.
AMANPOUR: Let me just play a pretty consequential engagement or other encounter that you had with Senator Marco Rubio during a town hall right
And it goes to the heart of what you're saying now.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
KASKY: We can't boo people because they're Democrats and boo people because they're Republicans.
(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE)
KASKY: Anyone who's willing to show change, no matter where they're from, anybody who's willing to start to make a difference is somebody we need on
our side here. And this is about people who are for making a difference to save us and people who are against it and prefer money.
So, Senator Rubio, can you tell me right now that you will not accept a single donation from the NRA?
(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE)
SEN. MARCO RUBIO (R-FL): The positions I hold on these issues of the Second Amendment I have held since the day I entered office in the city of
West Miami as an elected official.
Number two -- no, the answer is the question is that people buy into my agenda.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
AMANPOUR: Cameron, that was so gutsy, and he definitely dodged your question, and they're still dodging.
KASKY: Yes, it's pretty funny.
Senator Rubio has not held a public town hall since that event. And I was 17 years old for that. And if he can't hold up against a 17-year-old, and I
remember who I was when I was 17 -- I was -- I was your quintessential dumb teenager.
So, if he can't -- if he can't keep up with a 17-year-old, it really goes to show how little Marco Rubio truly believes what he's saying.
And I have actually encouraged CNN producers to hold another town hall, not unlike the one that was held after Parkland, in response to these
shootings, because I would love to hear from Senator Rubio again. I'd love to hear from Senator Cruz, if he's not busy in Cancun.
AMANPOUR: I'm smiling because you are anything but a dumb teenager, and you have the lived experience and you have the guts to say it, as it is,
from your experience.
Here is all these years later the very powerful Senator John Thune, who was asked about, why does anybody need a military-style AR-15 assault rifle
anyway? And this is what he said in the wake of the Uvalde shooting and as these deals allegedly are being attempted now on Capitol Hill. This is what
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. JOHN THUNE (R-SD): They are a sporting rifle. And it's something that a lot of people for purposes of going out, target shooting. In my state,
they use them to shoot prairie dogs and other types of varmints.
And so, I think that there are legitimate reasons why people would want to have them.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
AMANPOUR: So, Cameron, this is not going away either, the legitimate reasons, sporting rifles, prairie dogs.
How are you going to convince people who hold these ideas that actually a military assault rifle is actually not appropriate in an untrained hand?
And, actually, there was a ban. It did expire in the early 2000s. But there was a ban on these things under the Clinton administration.
And, under that ban, mass shootings tanked. And when the ban was lifted, they skyrocketed. So we have got the proof that this works. It's just
Republicans don't care about that.
AMANPOUR: Cameron, finally, can I ask you?
You -- basically, you have just laid out how it can work. If you do remove these weapons from mass circulation, mass shootings tank. We have seen it
in the U.K. We have seen it in Australia. We have seen it in Germany. Each time, overseas, there's been a mass shooting -- and this is in the past now
-- strict laws have stopped them. We have seen it.
So now I want to ask you this. You have been open about the mental health challenges you have faced, obviously, from what you went through, the
burden that is put upon you every time you see these kinds of things and have to talk about them.
What is it like for a young person like you? What is it like for you?
KASKY: Well, for me, specifically, my mental health problems extend far beyond a mass shooting that occurred. If there was no mass shooting, I'd
still be a basket case.
But, for other young people I know, you never really know when one of these is going to hit you. I will see five mass shootings in a row and feel
completely numb, but then there will just be one that just makes me feel, like, broken.
And you can never tell when it's coming. You can never predict it. All you can do is keep your community close, keep in close touch with other people
who have experienced what you have experienced, be there for the other people in your community, and keep your head up, even though it's
AMANPOUR: Well, you're doing an unbelievable job, given all those challenges.
Cameron Kasky, thank you for being with us.
KASKY: Thank you.
AMANPOUR: An essential conversation about a person's right to live without fear and violence.
Now, my next guest's new film is about a woman's right to pleasure without shame. Two-time Academy Award winner Dame Emma Thompson bears all in a new
movie called "Good Luck to You, Leo Grande."
She plays a widowed religion teacher who's never had an orgasm, and she decides to do something about it. She hires a young sex worker played by
Irishman Daryl McCormack.
It's a movie that shatters our long-held prejudices about what intimacy should look like. The filmmakers hope it will be quite revolutionary.
And I spoke to Emma Thompson about the film, about being an older woman, and about reclaiming one's body and sexuality. And this frank conversation
also addresses what it took for her to shoot her first ever full frontal nude scene at 63.
AMANPOUR: Emma Thompson, welcome to the program.
E. THOMPSON: Thank you very much. This is such a pleasure to meet you.
AMANPOUR: Well, likewise.
And I guess I need to start by saying or asking you, why wait this long to do the sex scenes, the naked scenes and all? Have you been batting away
these offers all your career?
E. THOMPSON: No, which may come as a surprise, but I suspect is not.
I did my first big sex scene with beloved Jeff Goldblum, where we spent three days naked in "The Tall Guy," Richard Curtis' first film. And I
learned a lot actually from that experience. And one of the things I learned was that being naked on set made everyone terribly kind and sort of
-- sort of protective.
People would bring you a cup of tea. You would be standing there naked, and they'd bring you a cup of tea and say, Here you are, Christiane. Here's
E. THOMPSON: And then they'd walk away like that. Just make sure that they don't look down. Everyone was so sensitive.
And I -- actually, I salute that crew, because it -- I thought to myself, if I ever have to do this again, I'm not going to be frightened.
AMANPOUR: And, therefore, you weren't in "Good Luck to You, Leo Grande?
E. THOMPSON: No, but one of the reasons for that was, I was working with this wonderful woman, Sophie Hyde.
And we had rehearsal, Daryl and I. And we both -- it's always very nerve- racking.
AMANPOUR: Daryl McCormack, of course, is your young co-star.
E. THOMPSON: Daryl McCormack is our extraordinary...
AMANPOUR: We haven't said whether film is about, because everybody is talking about Emma Thompson and the naked scenes.
So we're going to get to the film in a moment.
E. THOMPSON: OK, very good.
AMANPOUR: But just tell me about how you processed.
E. THOMPSON: Well, how we prepared for it was, we all took our clothes off, the three of us.
We had a -- we just closed the rehearsal room. And the three of us...
AMANPOUR: You mean the director and you two stars?
E. THOMPSON: Yes. Yes. Yes.
And we sat on the floor and talked about our bodies and then we drew around our bodies on great big pieces of paper and marked off the places where we
hurt the scars, the bits we don't like. I mean, I crossed out the whole thing, basically.
E. THOMPSON: But, of course, that's my brainwashing from very early on.
And we were set free by that, really. And then, of course, we made the film. And the film goes -- we spent 19 days together making the film. And
it's -- because it's mostly conversation, actually.
And when we got to the end, and we had to take our clothes off, it was like -- it was being -- it was like being released. We were terribly happy and
very comfortable. And we had no words, which was utter bliss, because we'd spent so long learning these long, long speeches.
And we would do very long takes, do 12 to 13 pages of dialogue at a time. So, it was an intense, very intense experience. And then, finally, doing
our sex scenes together was sort of like Christmas, really?
AMANPOUR: Well, probably, for a lot of women our age, it will be like Christmas, this film, once they see it, because it is the first time,
right, that a serious actress -- or maybe ever -- that we have seen this kind of sex scene, in this kind of focus on -- it's about women's pleasure,
and about the right of women to actually connect with that idea.
E. THOMPSON: Yes.
So, my character, Nancy Stokes, not her real name, is actually -- I know we have got 55 in the press, but actually, I think, as far as my age 63, which
I think is more interesting, actually, because it's that little bit older.
And she's, as you say, a retired religious education teacher. She's been married for 33 years to someone who's died two years previously. She's
never had an orgasm either with her husband, with another partner, or on her own. But she makes the extraordinary decision to hire a very much
younger sex worker, I think because that gap is a form of safety in a way, because...
E. THOMPSON: she thinks that very young person, OK, they're going to have to deal with my old body, but that's OK, because I'm -- this isn't a
romantic relationship. I'm not asking anything from this person, except that they helped me towards achieving some -- I'm like -- I have never had
any sexual experience.
I know it's there because I had a faint taste of it when I was 16, which is also, again, perhaps why she wants a young man, because that's the last
time she can remember being touched in any, any way that has elicited any kind of pleasure in her. She was 16.
It's 50 years later, nearly. And that's what's so revolutionary about the acting, and also what's funny about it, because she's utterly terrified.
AMANPOUR: Well, I was going to play a clip to show our viewers the actual terror where you're just asking Daryl McCormack, your co-star, but who's
called Leo Grande, obviously, again, not his real name.
E. THOMPSON: Not his real name.
AMANPOUR: So we're going to play this clip.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DARYL MCCORMACK, ACTOR: You don't have to worry, Nancy. This is just about us tonight.
So what is your fantasy?
E. THOMPSON: I'm not sure you could really class it as a fantasy as such. It's a bit mundane for that.
MCCORMACK: OK. Well, what would you most desire? I mean, desires are never mundane.
E. THOMPSON: To have sex tonight with you. That's about it, really, for the moment?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
E. THOMPSON: I love that, when he says -- he says, yes, so what's your fantasy? She thinks, oh, God, I have got it wrong. I'm supposed to have a
And don't you think that a lot of the time we think of that when we're in a sexual situation? We think I'm going to get it wrong. I'm going to need
something -- or I'm going to -- I'm not going to be interesting enough, obviously.
You worry so much about simplest, simplest things. I mean, our pleasure, our sexual pleasure, should not be this hard. Like death, it shouldn't be
this complicated. What have we done to ourselves? I mean...
AMANPOUR: Well, what have we done to ourselves?
E. THOMPSON: Well, we have crushed it, haven't we, with so many cultural, well, judgments.
We have made sex the thing that's a bit dirty, not very nice. So, if -- this is true of the majority world. I mean, most women don't have access to
sexual pleasure. It's not something they would ever ask a question about.
AMANPOUR: No, but you're right. Most women around the world just don't. They're vast continents where...
E. THOMPSON: Vast continents where it's ..
AMANPOUR: It's actually legislated against.
E. THOMPSON: Against, or, indeed...
AMANPOUR: In their religion, anyway.
E. THOMPSON: ... FGM, which is the ultimate solution, just remove all possibility of that.
So, it's a huge issue.
AMANPOUR: Earlier in the conversation, you said you X-ed out all the bits of your body, you said, because you were brainwashed to not like your body
from a very young age.
But Sophie, who directed it, I think, Kate, who wrote it...
E. THOMPSON: Yes.
AMANPOUR: ... I think I have heard them say that this could be a revolutionary film, a revolutionary act.
E. THOMPSON: I hope so.
AMANPOUR: In what way?
E. THOMPSON: Well, if you want to see change in our attitudes to our bodies, then you're going to have to be there. You are going to have to put
your body where your mouth is, actually.
I have gone on about this since I was 19 years old. The first sketches I wrote were -- when I was a comedian were about body image and dieting,
autocannibalism. I wrote a sketch about just eating yourself to within an optimum body weight, just chopping bits off and cooking it, the we're not
allowed to be who we are, that we are not allowed to have the bodies that we have.
AMANPOUR: We as women.
E. THOMPSON: As women.
AMANPOUR: Particularly older women.
E. THOMPSON: Particularly older women, but also young women, because this happened to me when I was in my teens.
E. THOMPSON: So this happened. The neural pathways that were carved deep into my psyche about not being acceptable, not having the right kind of
body happened very, very early on. And that's why they're so difficult to shift now, no matter how much my rational brain, which is overactive,
fights against it and has always fought against it, always, always.
So we're trapped.
AMANPOUR: What is the reaction you have had, not just women, which I assume, but from men as well?
E. THOMPSON: Yes, I have had some very interesting reactions, from -- I had a couple of reactions from men in their 80s.
One was that the -- one man had said: I have gone back to my wife and started to talk to her about whether she actually is feeling pleasure when
we do have sex, and it's really helped our sex life.
I was very impressed with that.
And then another person who said to me -- he is 83 -- he said -- he sort of lent into -- it's a little bit intimate. He said: I think I know a lot of
my guy friends in their 80s, I think they're lying about how good their sex lives are.
Because, of course, pleasure and intimacy -- and Leo is talking about -- he's talking about the release of pleasure, the physical release of
pleasure, the emotional release of pleasure. I mean, true sexual pleasure is actually a very spiritual thing, because your boundaries just float
And, suddenly, you're in this kind of universal space. I don't know how else to describe it. And he understands that. And he says, it's so
wonderful when that happens, because people let go. It's like a breath. It's like breathing, only more fun, and less like yoga.
E. THOMPSON: And I suppose there's tantric stuff that everyone went on about all that time. But it just seemed to take forever.
So, yes, pleasure as something that's a kind of a -- a benediction. Why -- why have we allowed it to become so difficult?
AMANPOUR: And there's the whole issue of consent as well. Both of you in this film are constantly probing the boundaries, and is everything all
E. THOMPSON: Yes, seeking consent. And I noticed as we were doing it -- and when I watch the film, I'm reminded again and again -- of how deeply
sexy it is when someone says, is this OK, and then the response, yes, it is, is fantastically erotic.
We're used to the sort of rape fantasy as, as described by such writers as Ian Fleming. I'm sure he gave a lot of women a lot of pleasure.
Sorry. I just had to...
E. THOMPSON: Sorry, Ian. I'm sure you were lovely.
But, yes, the consent thing, and even when -- and then Nancy learns it from Leo. And we're so -- well, I remember watching sex scenes and thinking, why
does everyone looks so angry? Pleasure is a delicate journey towards it, is very interesting. And this is not something that we explore at all, and
it's very feminine.
It's very feminine. It's no good, guys. You did -- you can't just twiddle the clitoris and, suddenly, we will go off.
E. THOMPSON: That's not going to work.
E. THOMPSON: Just let's talk for a minute, OK?
AMANPOUR: Yes. You obviously had a huge amount of fun during this film.
E. THOMPSON: We had a huge amount of fun.
E. THOMPSON: All legal.
AMANPOUR: And the end shot is the payoff, isn't it...
E. THOMPSON: It is.
AMANPOUR: ... for that familiarity, that intimacy.
E. THOMPSON: Yes.
AMANPOUR: Now I have just given it away.
But how did you feel standing there for the first time in your career totally, totally -- what's the right word? Exposed? Naked? Vulnerable?
E. THOMPSON: All those things, really.
Well, it was very interesting, because, when I'm acting, I'm not myself. I'm someone else. So, on this trick to one's psyche into being somebody
else, you know, that's the job. But I found my own resistance, you know, banging on Nancy's character saying -- begging to be let and saying, I
can't do this, I can't do this, I can't do this. But Nancy, Nancy has got to a different place.
In fact, she's in a much healthier place way than I am. She's in a place I would love to be. But I probably won't ever be. And so, therefore, it's a
confluence of things in that that moment. I've decided how I wanted to stand. I wanted to stand like the chrome X version of Eve in the -- his --
the medieval painting of Adam and Eve because, of course, Adam and Eve, never mind the sex -- but before the apple, kind of just chilled. You know,
they don't mind about me. They don't even know they are naked. They don't know they are naked. And that's what I wanted her to feel.
Not that she was naked, that she was just there. And the reason she is looking at her body is not to judge it or to even approve it, neither
thing. But to recognize the fact that this vehicle is the place, her home, in which she lives, is hers in a way that it is never been before. That
she's able to experience something that is hers. That is miraculous to her. Displeasure that's a kind of revelation, a revolution, all of those things.
And so, it is a moment of kind of blissful status and acceptance. And it was very hard to achieve, really, really hard.
E. THOMPSON: And so, it was very, very revealing to me about my own difficulty with that. And that is something I think I share with most women
I know, I am afraid.
AMANPOUR: You are very vocal when the revelations of MeToo, Harvey Weinstein.
E. THOMPSON: Yes.
AMANPOUR: When you said it didn't happen to you but you weren't surprised. And then, at one point, in 2019, you pulled out of a project that you
really wanted to do, the animated film "Luck" because somebody who have been accused, you know, of sexual misconduct had joined the production. And
you wrote this letter explaining your departure. I am well aware that centuries of entitlement to women's bodies, whether they like it or not is
not going to change overnight. Or any year. But I am also aware that if people who have spoken out like me do not take this sort of stand, then
things are very unlikely to change at anything like pace required protect my daughter's generation.
That was in 2019. Do you feel now that things are moving at a pace that is required for your daughter's generation?
E. THOMPSON: No. But I think they are moving. I also think that what is being revealed in the in-cell movement and, you know, certain aspects of
Silicon Valley is levels -- the deep levels of misogyny that exist in our cultures.
E. THOMPSON: And I think that the exposure of that -- because it's been very well hidden. The exposure of that is very important. It's important
that we recognize through a great writing, (INAUDIBLE) and such, how much women are feared and hated. We have to understand that this is the world
that we live in. We've got to be brave and we've got to revolutionize it. But it takes time and there is going to be backward and forward. You know,
and in some movements, it's happening because men are going -- we are being punished in some way.
AMANPOUR: But it's interesting you say that because even then United States right now, you see the push back against a woman's right over her
E. THOMPSON: Yes.
AMANPOUR: With the assault on Roe v. Wade.
E. THOMPSON: Absolutely.
AMANPOUR: I've just come back from Afghanistan, which is the poster child for --
E. THOMPSON: Horror.
AMANPOUR: -- hating and punishing.
E. THOMPSON: Yes. And suppressing.
AMANPOUR: And suppressing girls.
E. THOMPSON: Getting them out of them out of the way.
AMANPOUR: Yes. And I guess I just wanted to ask you, finally, you have also bravely taken on a whole load of other issue that are important to you
outside of your work, whether it's the climate, whether it's women's issues, whatever it might, refugees. And I think it's really interesting
what you said about it, I can be an activist and be the glittery person on the red carpet. What is, you know, the problem here?
E. THOMPSON: Well, I can be complicated because everybody is complicated. And I don't understand why -- I mean, you know what the difficulty is? The
difficulty is fame. Fame is a very toxic byproduct of what someone like me. I mean, I have always done the things that -- I have always been active in
all sorts of areas but well before I was famous. So, it's just a part of my life that's carried on.
And sometimes it's worked, sometimes it backfires, you have to be careful and you have to know you are talking about. Those things are true. And we
are deeply, deeply complicated and we are not very good at recognizing that. And, you know, no human life is a constant development. A constant
development and then, you have to learn how to die. And it started -- you know, I mean, I am a very aware of that at 63. I think, oh, now, have to
learn how to die. And this is going to be very interesting journey.
And this is all part of our discussion, the ongoing discussion between humans, how do we deal with ourselves? Because look at us.
AMANPOUR: And on that note, look at you, a wonderful film, brave and really necessary. Thank you so much, Emma Thompson.
E. THOMPSON: Thanks, Christiane. It's so lovely to speak to you.
AMANPOUR: You too.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
AMANPOUR: And the film, "Good Luck to You, Leo Grande" is out on June 17th. And tou will not want to miss it.
Next, almost 3,000 incidents of anti-Semitic behavior were found in 2021 throughout the United States. It's the highest number on record in over 40
years. Debra Lipstadt is professor of Modern Jewish History and Holocaust Studies at Emory University. And she is the newly appointed special envoy
to monitor and combat anti-Semitism for the Biden administration.
In 2000, she famously defeated holocaust denier, David Irving, in a libel suit in the British High Court. And she joins Walter Isaacson to discuss
the rise and the pervasive nature of these attacks.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
WALTER ISAACSON, CNN HOST: Thank you, Christiane. And Ambassador Lipstadt, welcome back to the show.
DEBORAH LIPSTADT, U.S. SPECIAL ENVOY TO MONITOR AND COMBAT ANTI-SEMITISM: Thank you. It's a procedure to be here.
ISAACSON: You are now the special envoy to monitor and combat anti- Semitism. That used to be something that was exclusively something we did a broad. To what extent now are you having to focus domestically on this
LIPSTADT: Well, I am at the State Department, which means my remit is outside the boundaries of the United States. So, that is officially, and
that is where I will spend most of my energies, but it is getting harder and harder to make that division.
If you remember back in January, and Collinsville, Texas, the terrorists came and held for people in the synagogue hostage for about 12 hours until
they miraculously escaped. He had came here from England. He was from the Middle East but he came here from England and was radicalized, to some
extent, in a mosque in England.
So -- and then, he came to the United States. Was here three days and committed his act. So, officially, it was domestic terrorism. But you can't
separate from what he got abroad. So, though most of my work will be abroad, I am very conscious of the interconnectedness of what is going on.
ISAACSON: Explain that interconnectedness of sort of the anti-Semitism that is welling up abroad, that terrorism that comes and people getting
radicalized like would happen in Collinsville and how it plays in to both the anti-Semitism and the radicalism here in the United States?
LIPSTADT: It's -- I am glad you phrased it that way. I'm not surprised you phrased it that way because it is really an interlocking hole. Each
prejudice, the radicalism, whether it's white supremacy or another form of prejudice has these distinct characteristics. Anti-Semitism has its unique
And it's ubiquitous, it's free-flowing, it comes from every place on the political spectrum. It comes from Christians, it comes from Muslims, it
comes from even Jews. If you add to that what we are seeing today and the growth of conspiracy theories, not just in this country, but abroad too,
whether it's about COVID, whether it's about elections, whether it's about finances, whatever it might be, anti-Semitism has this unique
characteristic unlike most other prejudices of being at its heart, a conspiracy theory.
The ideas Jews control the media, Jews control the banks, Jews control the government, Jews control culture, whatever it might be. So, that the anti-
Semite begins, if he is looking or she is looking for someone who caused COVID, she is shorts the Jews and she just has to find the connection. If
she is not an anti-Semite to begin with but she is sure that there is a conspiracy behind COVID, well, she has to find someone with the power, with
the evil characteristics who's conniving enough, who's clever enough to be doing this and she ends up with the Jews.
And so, the Jew becomes a very convenient scapegoat when you have conspiracy theories. And we're living in this day and age of conspiracy
theories. So, that is one point I think to answer your interconnectedness.
The other point is, we are seeing tremendous movements of populations. From Africa, from South America, Latin America, from Muslim countries into
countries that think of themselves -- or a portion of their, thinks of themselves as white Christian countries.
And you have this great replacement theory, which is not something new but which has gotten added mileage over the past five or six years, something
like that, which claims that there is an organized -- a conspiracy afoot to replace white Christian culture, white Christian hegemony - and replace it
with Muslims with people of color, black people, people from Africa. And -- but says the person who subscribes to this absurd theory, these people,
black people, people of color, Muslims, they are not smart enough -- I know this is going to sound familiar from what I just said before -- wealthy
enough, powerful enough, evil enough and sneaky enough to be doing this behind closed doors so they don't get caught but they are the puppeteers
and they end up at the Jew.
If you look at the Buffalo, the terrible tragedy in Buffalo last month where this man went looking for a neighborhood to kill as many black people
as he could. If you read his so-called manifesto, it's 180 pages. I urge your viewers not to read it I did already. I'll save you the trouble. It's
horrible. It's filled with racist diatribes but linked together is anti- Semitic diatribes. And they are not separate, it's not that he hates blacks and he hate Jews but he sees blacks proliferating. He sees them, you know,
being in the White House. He sees them gaining influence and they must -- some -- who is behind them? Who is manipulating them? It's the Jew.
So, when I'm fighting anti-Semitism or combatting, trying to combat, trying educate about it, not only do I see the linkage between domestic and
international, but I also see the linkage with other prejudices. You can't fight hate in the silo.
ISAACSON: You have said that at the root of anti-Semitism, globally, historically, and in the United States, is a conspiracy theory, this notion
that there is some dark conspiracy. We have always had conspiracy theories for hundreds of years. What seems different now is that they can get
amplified and spread through social media. How much are you focused on that?
LIPSTADT: Very, very much so. I'm -- we're meeting in the next few days with counterparts from Europe who also work -- who have similar portfolios
from the E.U., from Germany, England, and they are all very concerned about it.
You know, Walter, when I first started to study holocaust in Iowa, most people thought I was crazy to spend my time doing that, sadly, I was not.
It was (INAUDIBLE). But people -- but if I wanted to find denial materials, I had to order them. I didn't because there were people who archive them.
But if you want a deny all material, you order them and you got them in a plane envelope, maybe to P.O. box from P.O. box, because nobody wanted to
be able to be tracked.
Today, all you have to go -- Mrs. Google, as a like to call her, and -- or whatever your browser is. And put in -- with a few key strokes, you get
anything you want. So, you know, I don't want to beat up on social media. I use social media in my research. I use it in my writing, I use it in my job
now. But social media is like a knife. A knife in the hands of a killer can do terrible, terrible damage. A knife in the hands of a surgeon can save
your life. It is how we use it.
ISAACSON: Do you worry that with midterm elections and the partisanship and the polarization we're having that people are going to hear, and around
the world and elections around the world, stoke up anti-Semitism?
LIPSTADT: Yes, absolutely. It's a terrific tool that some people will use and use freely and use enthusiastically. And then, engage in what I called
the miss piggy defense. What? Me? An anti-Semite? No, not at all. But we see it. We see it.
I was an expert witness in the Charlottesville civil suit. The suit brought against the groups that conducted the Unite the Right Rally in the summer
of 2017. So, I read all of their exchanges, their e-mails, their for (ph) chance, A chance, whatever, all of the different exchanges. And these were
people who came poised to do violence and who were compelled, like deep- seated racism and deep-seated anti-Semitism. And thirdly, a deep-seated commitment to violence.
I think these midterm elections may be amongst the most crucial our country is facing because of that. Not because of one party or the other, but
because there is this growing radicalization. And, you know, you see it all over, we have seen it more from the -- and more overtly from the right now.
But I think we have to be careful. Wherever it comes -- when I was -- before Senate Foreign Relations Committee for my hearing, I described
myself as an equal opportunity fighter of anti-Semitism. I don't care where it comes from, I am going to fight it.
ISAACSON: What did Charlottesville and your involvement there teach you about the connection between anti-Semitism and racism?
LIPSTADT: It taught me that the two are interconnected. It showed it to me so graphically. If you look at what these people were saying to what one
another, if you look at these symbols they brought. Now, it's very interesting, if you look at their flags and their shields and their
banners, they were virtually no swastikas. But the one who understood and who knows and -- as I am, I saw loads of Nazi symbols. There was something
called the black sun. Different symbols. (INAUDIBLE) symbols that were relied on by the Nazi party. Maybe not created on by them, but relied on by
I saw overt racism and I saw anti-Semitism. I saw how these two -- for these haters, these are not two separate hatreds. These are firmly
intertwined, they are linked. And if we are going to fight one, we've got to recognize this.
ISAACSON: So, you are in the State Department, mainly dealing overseas. Let me ask you about a complex question, which is Ukraine, which has a
Jewish president who has become a global hero. And yet, the Russians are saying they're trying de-Nazify Ukraine. And to some extent, anti-Semitism
seems to be an undercurrent in a lot of these discussions. Explain your thinking there.
LIPSTADT: Barely an undercurrent. I think what we have seen from the leadership of the Kremlin, from Putin, from Lavrov and foreign minister and
from many others in the leadership is, first of all, the weaponization of the holocaust, the weaponization of Nazism.
To call Ukrainians Nazis, and we are out to defeat Nazis, there are right wingers in that government and there were people who were -- who I
certainly disagree with and don't approve of. But to describe them as Nazis is to weaponize the imagery of World War II. And then, it went even further
with the foreign minister making this absurd claim that Hitler's mother was Jewish. And people called me up and said, what is that? Why is that? First
of all, it is absurd. Second of all, why is he making it?
Hitler's mother was not Jewish. Absolutely not. But what he was saying is, Hitler's mother was Jewish, i.e., Hitler was Jewish. And whatever bad
things happened in the holocaust, the Jews did to themselves. And it is a form of -- it's what I call soft core holocaust denial. It is not a denial
of the facts, but it is distortion. It is turning things on their head and it's saying, you are turning the victims into the perpetrators. They maybe
victims, but they are also perpetrators.
It was deeply, deeply anti-Semitic. And it is absurd. But it seems that Putin and those around him thought that it would find an audience if not
outside Russia, certainly inside Russia.
ISAACSON: You said you are about to go meet with your cohorts and counterparts, especially, I assume, in Europe. Tell me about those
meetings, whether there is a group of people like yourself in each country that take on anti-Semitism and are you going to prioritize certain actions
to do next?
LIPSTADT: Well, here is some good news, rarely when you are talking about anti-Semitism or prejudice, is that they have good news. Increasing numbers
of countries, Germany, France, the E.U., even the OAS has appointed someone, have appointed special envoy similar to this position. And they
haven't done it because of a massive Jewish population in their midst they're in, they have done it because they have begun to understand that
this is a serious problem.
So, you know, we are going to talk about it. We are going to see what has worked, what has not worked in Europe, you've had, and certainly in England
and in other countries, in Germany, problems with sports clubs, with soccer clubs. We all face the online anti-Semitism. But there is another place
where I am going to be focusing my energies, and it's is also some good news, and that is the Abraham Accord countries.
That in the Gulf, and possibly in other countries is both in the Gulf and Muslim majority countries in other places, there is an increased interest
and willingness to address the issue of anti-Semitism. You know, irrespective of their particular position on tensions in the Middle East,
on the Arab-Israeli, Israeli-Palestinian issue, they are beginning to realize that this is not something that is healthy for them. That this is
not something that they should be exporting to the rest of the world.
ISAACSON: You talk about working with the countries and the Gulf states in the Middle East who are part of the Abraham Accords. Explain to us what
that is and why you feel it is promising.
LIPSTADT: About three years ago, during the Trump administration, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, and Morocco signed onto something they call
the Abraham Accords, which -- and they signed on with Israel, the United States. There have been tripartite working groups on religious freedoms in
these countries to say, you know what, it is time to rethink the hatred. It is time to rethink the differences. That does not mean that, you know, they
said, we're not -- we are going to forget about political differences or political objectives, but there has been a hatred, there has been a
division that's just isn't anyone's benefit.
No one expected it. No one foresaw it. There had been all sorts of contact between UAE and Israelis on commercial and other things quietly, but no one
expected it to be as public. And if you had told me, you know, even 10 months ago that I would be heading out to that region to be welcomed there
to talk about anti-Semitism, I wouldn't have believed it.
ISAACSON: You talk about going around the world to talk about anti- Semitism. But is there a delivering that message when more than how of biased crimes in our own country, in the United States, are anti-Semitic or
LIPSTADT: You know, I -- during -- in the '30s, and even in the late '30s, and when there is that debate in 1936 about having the Olympics in Berlin,
there are people who said, oh, we Americans, we can't protest what was going on in Germany because we have problems in our country. I take a
different attitude. I go to them. I go to them in humility. I say, our country is not perfect, our country has many problems and many issues, has
long had them. Is trying to address them, sometimes with more vigor, sometimes with less. But that does not stop us from saying, you have to do
it to. I don't come to them and say, oh, I am a purist, you know, free from any wrong. I am pure as the driven snow. We have problems here.
And I think that we are trying to impress them. Sometimes with more success, sometimes with less success. But that does not mean that we have
to, you know, first fix everything here and then, only talk -- and then, go talk to those abroad. But I go with a deep sense of humility that I am not
coming to you from a perfect place.
ISAACSON: Ambassador Deborah Lipstadt, thank you so much for joining us.
LIPSTADT: Thank you for having me.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
AMANPOUR: An ongoing and vital struggle.
And finally, tonight, we want to pay tribute to the trailblazing artist Paula Rego, known for her deeply emotive and daring work, who died this
week at the age of 87. She was born in Portugal and grew up under fascist dictatorship. And eventually, she made Britain her home.
She rose to prominence in the 1960s fearlessly exploring transgressive themes, included a woman's role in society. Her groundbreaking pastels on
back-alley abortions helped to pave the way to legalizing the procedure in Portugal. We spoke to her son about her work during a packed-out
retrospective at the Tape Gallery here in London last year.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
NICK WILLING, SON OF PAULA REGO: She's allowed people to talk about taboo subjects that they would have find otherwise to discuss, by bringing it out
(END VIDEO CLIP)
AMANPOUR: And here in the U.K., Rego became the national gallery's first associate artist in 1990. And in 2010, the queen made her a dame. She
remains not just a rare female artist, but one of the greatest painters of modern times.
And that is it for now. Remember, you can always catch us online, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, and on our podcast.
Thank you for watching and goodbye from London.