Kerry Washington Is 'So Happy' People Are Watching 'American Son' To Deepen Their Understanding Amid Protests
By Zach Seemayer
David Crotty/Patrick McMullan via Getty Images
Kerry Washington is grateful that her film American Son is helping to open up dialogue on police violence and racism in America. The actress took to Instagram amid the ongoing nationwide protests to share her appreciation for those who have been moved or affected by the heart-wrenching drama.
"It makes me so happy that people are watching #AmericanSon on @netflix to deepen their compassion and understanding," Washington wrote in a message she posted to Instagram on Wednesday.
Washington shared numerous screenshots of other Instagram users who'd posted about watching the film and were encouraging others to watch it as well, due to the themes of police brutality, racism and unconscious bias.
The movie tells the story of two estranged parents (played by Washington and Steven Pasquale) who reunite in a police station in Miami seeking answers about their missing son.
The resurgence of interest in the film -- which was first released in November and is an adaptation of a stage play of the same name -- comes amid protests sparked by the killing of George Floyd by police officers in Minneapolis, Minnesota on May 25.
"My dream for this film was to spark conversations that would lead to change," Washington wrote in her post. "What questions are popping up for you as you watch or after you watch?"
ET caught up with Washington back in October at the premiere of American Son in Los Angeles, and ET's Matt Cohen spoke with the actress -- who also served as an executive producer on the project -- about bringing the drama to the screen.
"It was so important for me to allow people the privilege of stepping into the lives of this family and being on this roller coaster ride with them," she shared. "Because I think it gives us all an opportunity to reflect on who we are as a society right now, reflect on who we are in our marriages, in our homes with our kids and just take stock of where we're at and how we're doing."
"It's such a special project in that way, so to be able to be a producer and actor in the project just allows me to be extra proud," she added.
For her, being the mother of two children -- whom she shares with husband Nnamdi Asomugha -- made the project even more important.
"I think we're at a moment where police violence is such an extraordinary problem in our culture. And I think there's a danger that these young men and women are becoming statistics," she reflected. "We don't know their names, or we don't think about their humanity, we're just thinking about enormous numbers."
"And when I think about it as a mom, I think about how mothers feel, like that fear of having a black child and not knowing if they're going to be OK in the middle of the night," she continued. "And I just feel like tapping into that horror, parental concern and love, is so universal and helps us to protect these young men and women from being statistics and instead being a full, three dimensional, beautiful human beings that they are."