Legendary actress Rita Moreno appeared on a recent episode of “Watch What Happens Live with Andy Cohen.” During her appearance, she stated that she believes Donald Trump is giving racist permission to speak out with his words and actions.
Moreno talked about her feelings about the ongoing protests sparked by the killing of George Floyd and she drew a parallel between Trump’s time in the Oval Office and people feeling being openly racist is acceptable.
“I think this president has given permission to a big segment of the population to air their views, shall we say, or attitudes and I think that has brought out an enormous amount of racism that we were not privy to before,” Moreno, 88, said.
“It’s implicit in whatever he does and says,” she added.
Moreno shared that she will be supporting Joe Biden in the November presidential election. She did add that she worried that Biden does win the presidency the majority of his time will be spent undoing what Trump did during his first term.
“He’s going to have to do so much repairing of the damage that has been done, I have this dreadful feeling he’s going to spend four years doing only that,” Moreno stated. “That’s what scares the hell out of me.”
Moreno is a lifelong activist and was present to hear Martin Luther King Jr. give his “I have a dream” speech. She shares that she is proud of being there for such a historic moment, but is even prouder of her Hollywood friends that showed up too.
“What happened was that Harry Belafonte wanted Dr. King to know that there were people in Hollywood who really meant what they said and loved other people. So, he asked him if he could bring some Hollywood people with him. I was one of them, Sammy Davis [Jr.], I sat next to Diahann Carroll. It was just the most amazing contingent,” she shared.
Moreno then remembered another Hollywood celebrity who came despite being fearful of the consequences.
“Oh, James Garner!” she added. “Garner, who you know was a white guy, very successful actor, came on this with a lump in his stomach, he was so frightened because he was actually afraid he’d never work again, but he came… He came and I’ve never forgotten him for that.”