Well, that’s awkward.
Jenna Bush Hager got two movies confused when she talked to Pharrell Williams on the red carpet and called “Hidden Figures,” the movie for which Williams wrote music and produced, “Hidden Fences.” “Fences” is a drama starring Denzel Washington and Viola Davis.
Conflating the films was especially cringe-inducing because both of the nominated movies star A-list black actors and focus on race issues in the U.S.
“Fences” is about a Pittsburgh sanitation worker in the 1950s who feels he has missed his opportunity to become a professional baseball player because of his race, whereas “Hidden Figures,” starring Taraji P. Henson, Janelle Monae and Octavia Spencer, focuses on three black female NASA mathematicians who make it possible for John Glenn to become the first American astronaut to make a complete orbit around Earth.
Hollywood awards shows have received heavy criticism over the past few years for excluding actors of color, launching the trending hashtag #OscarsSoWhite after no black actors were nominated in neither 2015 nor 2016.
Williams looked taken aback when Hager asked, “So you’re nominated for ‘Hidden Fences.’”
Williams raised his eyebrows and looked uncomfortable, but did not correct the TV personality.