THE OTHER WOMEN
Hill wasn't the only one who claimed she was harassed by Thomas. Several others came forward alleging similar stories of impropriety.
While the movie does show one of them, Angela Wright (played by Jennifer Hudson
), it did not include others -- probably because it needed to condense events for the sake of drama.
Jane Mayer and Jill Abramson reported
in their book, "Strange Justice," that a total of four women traveled to Washington DC to corroborate Hill's story.
THE OTHER WOMEN
One was Rose Jourdain, Wright's friend, who was supposed to testify on Wright's behalf about how hard it was for Wright to endure the harassment she suffered under Thomas. She never testified, but gave a written statement. Another former Thomas assistant by the name of Sukari Hardnett provided the Senate Judiciary Committee with the statement: "If you were young, black, female, reasonably attractive and worked directly for Clarence Thomas, you knew full well you were being inspected and auditioned as a female."
COME BACK AFTER DESSERT
In one of the film's more dramatic moments, a group of women legislators from the House bursts into a Senate lunch to urge male senators to delay the confirmation vote and investigate Hill's allegations. Then-Senator Joe Biden tells the women there's little that can be done, after which they then move on to lobby other senators.
COME BACK AFTER DESSERT
But according to Hill's 1997 book "Speaking Truth to Power
," the women who entered the dining room were stopped at the door and told to come back later -- after Maine Sen. George Mitchell finished handling some, uh, important business.
"In a scene reminiscent of the 'Wizard of Oz,' in which Dorothy Gale and her friends seek an audience with the Wizard and are turned away at the door, the congresswomen were told to go away and come back later, when Senator Mitchell had finished his dessert," Hill wrote in her book.
Like any good drama, "Confirmation" took some artistic liberties, meshing several real-life characters into one. For example, actor Daniel Serafini Sauli was hired to play Mark Paoletta, a lawyer with the Office of White House Counsel. But by the time all of the revisions were made, he ended up playing a fictional character named Chris Levanthal.
Harriet Grant, who was Biden's chief counsel at the time, was also morphed
into a fictional character after she expressed concerns about the script. Zoe Lister-Jones
, the actress originally cast for the role, ended up playing a fictional character named Carolyn Hart.
In one of the film's most shocking scenes, Missouri Sen. John Danforth (played by Bill Irwin
) accuses Hill of suffering from a condition called "erotomania," a delusion in which the sufferer believes that someone, usually of higher social status, is in love with them.
While in the movie the psychiatrist who offered the theory to conservatives seems sketchy at best, in reality Park Dietz was regarded as "America's best-known forensic psychiatrist," according to a 1993 article
by the Los Angeles Times.
Dietz was the FBI's premier shrink, helping agents catch high-profile serial killers. His cases included Jeffrey Dahmer and John Hinckley Jr.
Utah Sen. Orrin Hatch, one of Thomas' chief defenders on the Judiciary Committee, at one point suggested that she plagiarized one of her accusations about Thomas from "The Exorcist." During the hearings, Hill testified that Thomas once proclaimed that someone had put a pubic hair on his can of Coke. Hatch held up a copy of the 1971 novel and read a passage wherein a character complains of pubic hair in his glass of gin.
Shockingly, that scene was far from fiction and remains to this day one of the most bizarre accusations of plagiarism in modern history.
SEXUAL HARASSMENT AWARENESS
While Hill's testimony failed to prevent Thomas' appointment to the Supreme Court, the movie credits her with changing attitudes toward sexual harassment in the workplace.
"In the wake of the hearings the number of sexual harassment cases filed with the EEOC [U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission] doubled," the final credits read.
According to a 1992 TIME article
, a year after the hearings "the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) logged a record 9,920 harassment complaints ... a rise of 50% over the previous year."
A POLITICAL REVOLUTION
According to the movie, in the wake of the confirmation hearings "the number of women elected to Congress was the largest of any single election in the nation's history."
The movie essentially claims that the smear campaign against Hill, launched by a bunch of white guys, sparked a new feminist movement in politics.
As the House of Representatives website
notes, 1992 (the year following the hearings), ushered in an "unparalleled" decade for women in Congress: "American voters sent as many new women to Congress as were elected in any previous decade."