Donald Sutherland was supposed to be on the Today Show to plug a new DirecTV and AT&T U-verse series called "Ice." The hosts at The Today Show were all bubbly and celebratory about Sutherland's long career and whatever about the show (don't ask me to keep up with every on-demand media option it was overload to get Netflix at our house.)
But the interview took a really fast turn which left the hosts unable to interrupt. He turned a conversation about Helen Mirren into a conversation about misogyny and racism. Good on Donald Sutherland:
DONALD SUTHERLAND: I could do a thousand movies with Helen Mirren but that's the only one I've done. And it was -- if it is a quarter as good as it was a joy to play, then it will be absolutely wonderful. Helen Mirren -- Helen Mirren came up to me on the set and stood in front of me and said, in the middle of a shooting. you know? And I love her. and she said 'you are the most privileged person on Earth.' I said you're joking. I mean I've been very fortunate and I've had a wonderful life but -- she said, 'No, you are the most privileged person on Earth'. I said how can you say that? She said, 'You are a white male.'
TODAY HOST: ...and your reply to that was?
SUTHERLAND: There is no reply. I was ashamed. I was stunned. and I have gotten more ashamed. it's interesting to realize that you are seen as an integral part of a group that many of whom are misogynist, bigots, racists, and it's appalling.
He was then asked about his grandchidren.
SUTHERLAND: How do I give them a hopeful view. Now how can I give them a hopeful view? I have a wife. I have a daughter. I have a daughter-in-law and a granddaughter. What do I say to them? What do I say to them? Their women's rights are gone. The environment is gone. Minimum pay has gone. What do I say to them? How do I -- I can only say one thing. I am a Canadian. And that's what I am.