Aaron Sorkin reads Brietbart for inspiration: “A cartoonish version of hatred and bigotry”


When Academy Award-winning writer Aaron Sorkin began to craft the characters in his rendition of Harper Lee’s “To Kill a Mockingbird” for the Broadway stage, he honed in on the town’s unemployed villain, Bob Ewell, and gave him real anxieties inspired by today’s right-wing politics.

“I'll tell you where I went to find Bob Ewell, Breitbart,” Sorkin said on “Salon Talks.” “A lot of Bob Ewell's dialogue was written by commenters at Breitbart. I'm not joking.”

Ewell is the victim of poverty, Sorkin explained, and he is able to articulate an anger to Atticus Finch that the other Bob Ewells in the book and movie versions of “To Kill a Mockingbird” didn’t touch on. According to Sorkin, Ewell’s thing is, "You think you're better than me? You look down on me. You think you're better than me?"

Watch Sorkin’s full “Salon Talks” episode to hear about why Sorkin thinks Atticus would find reasons to be compassionate about Trump voters and why it's the one flaw that he gave Lee’s “carved out of marble” character.

To learn more about the starring roles of Atticus and Scout, watch the “Salon Talks” episode with Jeff Daniels and Celia Keenan-Bolger.


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