Handmaid's Tale Showrunner Calls Out "So Small, So Cruel" Donald Trump

Like millions of people around the world, The Handmaid's Tale showrunner Bruce Miller and those around him have been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic on both personal and professional levels. But while the rest of the world begins to open itself back up again to a "new normal," the U.S. remains mired in the health crisis with no end (or leadership) in sight for now. Miller shares the feeling that millions of Americans do: that the lack of leadership battling the pandemic and the desire by those in The White House to use the issue to drive wedges along racial, gender, and socioeconomic lines are all part of a larger "dystopian" plan. Miller goes on to make comparisons between the streaming service series and our dark reality, revealing that for someone who claims "social and political upheaval is my creative wheelhouse," he should've seen all fo this coming. You can read the full column for The Hollywood Reporter here, and here's an excerpt where Miller takes Donald Trump and other leaders of his ilk to task:

THE HANDMAID'S TALE  (Photo by: Take Five/Hulu)
THE HANDMAID'S TALE  (Photo by: Take Five/Hulu)

"I've written plenty of villains. The interesting ones may be causing chaos and pain, but they believe it serves a better future. They have a vision for a world beyond this suffering and sacrifice. They are not villains in their own stories. The year of 2020 hasn't even bothered to give us decent real-life villains. I'm so disappointed. I never expected my dystopian leaders to be so small, so cruel, so unambitious. They have the reins of power, and they just want to make strangers suffer. Nothing beyond that. I mean, they'd love to make a few bucks along the way and get revenge on some people, but basically it's the cruelty. And what are they offering after that? What is the promised land after the cruelty? Where is the open kitchen shelving of Trump's America? Nope. There is no beautiful promised future.

As far as I can tell, Trump and his enablers only promise that people you hate will be suffering. Pre-imagining an unjust, fanatical society didn't prepare me for that simple reality. I underestimated the focused energy that many people (mostly white men, to be honest) are eager to expend making cruelty quotidian. This administration is overrun with openly dishonest, spoiled, privileged and breathtakingly lazy men. But they seem to have endless verve when it comes to making people's lives as painful, insecure and miserable as possible. They are so small and so very petty. It surprised me. That was a failure of my imagination, and I should've known better."

The Handmaid's Tale
Elisabeth Moss in The Handmaid's Tale (Image: Hulu)

The teaser for the 10-episode fourth season (a return to the first season's episode count) recaps the previous season as June (Elisabeth Moss) led a rebellion to rescue Gilead's children, but now June's thinking bigger. For her, it's about bringing down the entire government and taking back the country for the people. Here's a look at the teaser for the series' return, followed by an update from executive producer Moss on production:

Speaking with Collider in June, Moss revealed how the process in deciding when to go back to work has been going as well as the things concerned before making such a decision: "Yes, we have a production call, every week, and we have a producer call, every week. There have been a lot of emails, a lot of Zooms, and a lot of conversations. One of the great things that our line producer has done is basically gone to every single department and talked to them, and picked their brain and tried to figure out what their daily process is, and what they're looking for and what they need, in order to feel safe, which I think is a really important part of it. There's a lot of stuff that's above my pay grade and above my head, that we're all reading about in the Hollywood Reporter."

The Handmaid's Tale
The Handmaid's Tale returns in 2021 (Image: Hulu)

Moss continued, "But for us, as producers, and for most producers, it's about, how do you do it and be safe? That's all. Human life is not worth making a TV show for. Everyone wants to go back to work because we love what we do, and there's also people that need to support their families and themselves. The producers contributed to a fund for our crew, that is out of our own pockets and has nothing to do with our larger corporation. We put a lot of money into it, and we've been keeping our crew going through that and supporting them being out of work. But we've gotta do it safely, and we're just trying to figure that out. It's all-new territory, and we're all in the same boat here."

About Ray Flook

Serving as Television Editor since 2018, Ray began five years earlier as a contributing writer/photographer before being brought onto the core BC team in 2017.

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