White House chief strategist Stephen Bannon once wrote a Hamilton-style rap adaptation of Shakespeare's Coriolanus, set in South Central during the 1992 Los Angeles riots. For better or worse, the film, titled The Thing I Am, was never made and for months the script existed publicly only in snippets over at The Daily Beast.
But something so bizarre couldn't be confined to words on a webpage for long. The video-centric news organization NowThis organized a Hollywood table read of the script and it's … something.
Comedian Rob Corddry, who voices various parts of the script, reflected to The Washington Post that the whole project "seemed like, to me, if anything, a white guy, with a chip on his shoulder, saying, 'I can talk about this, I can say these things this way, because why not? Who are you to say I can't?'" Corddry added: "It's basically — the only metaphor I can think of is, 'I can say that because I have a black friend.'"
"I do think [Bannon] was trying to understand race relations and take this overseer look of, 'Here's what you're not seeing,'" said actor Gary Anthony Williams, who voices Coriolanus. "I think he thought he had a greater understanding than the people who were going through what they were going through. Now, whether he had the tools to do that or not is open to everyone's interpretation. My answer would be no, spelled in pretty large letters, with a very curly font."
Watch below (and be advised, the language is explicit). Jeva Lange