‘Hunger Games’ star: You can ‘dance around it,’ but no denying Confederate flag’s link to slavery
Actor and Arkansas native Wes Bentley expressed relief at the decision to take down the Confederate battle flag from outside the South Carolina statehouse in an interview with Ora.TV host Larry King.
“The flag is, there’s no reasoning is saying that the flag escapes any kind of representation of slavery,” Bentley said. “You just can’t do it.”
“That’s what the heritage is, right?” King asked.
“It’s what it is,” Bentley responded. “It’s what the link is. You can dance around it, you can make all the other excuses for it, you can say it’s part of our history. It is part of our history, but we can also let some of that history go.”
Bentley, a Jonesboro native who has appeared in the Hunger Games film series as Seneca Crane, also called the heavily-criticized anti-LGBT “religious freedom” bill enacted in his native state “excruciatingly disappointing”
“I’ve been away for 20 years so it’s hard for me to fully participate as an Arkansan and say what’s going on there — exactly politically,” he told King. “But just looking at it from the outside, it’s a shame that I have to feel embarrassed that I’m from Arkansas now, because something so full of hate is coming from the place I call my home.”
“Think the courts might throw it out?” King asked.
“I think they should. I can’t imagine that this is constitutional,” Bentley said. “I don’t think institutionalized bigotry is constitutional.”
Gov. Asa Hutchinson and state Republicans quickly amended the law earlier this year after activist groups and the Walmart market chain criticized it for not including protections for LGBT residents in its version of the federal Religious Freedom Restoration Act.
Watch Bentley’s remarks, as posted by Ora.TV, below.