Tom Hanks-Narrated Short 'How To Rig An Election' to Be Distributed by The Washington Post

Tom Hanks-narrated short film How to Rig An Election: The Racist History of the 1876 Presidential Contest will be distributed by The Washington Post Opinions section as part of a first-time collaboration, the paper announced Monday. As part of the collaboration, the beloved actor and writer/producer Jeffery Robinson will also pen an original op-ed for the Opinions section and join Washington Post Live on April 6. 

The animated short, which premiered at the SXSW Festival in Austin, follows the story of "the most hotly contested presidential election in U.S. history, which took place in 1876 and ended in a backroom deal with devastating consequences still felt to this day." The 1876 election was a battle for 20 electoral votes that devolved into allegations of electoral fraud and voter suppression and ended in a deal in which Samuel J. Tilden would concede the vote to Rutherford B. Hayes in exchange for an agreement that Hayes would remove federal troops from the South as president. How to Rig An Election was written and produced by Robinson, who is the founder of the Who We Are Project and former ACLU deputy legal director, and directed by Emily Kunstler and Sarah Kunstler.

Hanks and Robinson will be taking on the topic of the 1876 election in an original op-ed that will launch with the film on Monday, April 3 in The Post's Opinion section. Three days later on Thursday, April 6, Hanks and Robinson will appear on Washington Post Live for a special live interview moderated by Post Opinions' Kate Woodsome. People who are interested in tuning in can register here

 While Hanks' partnership with The Washington Post for this debut is the first of its kind, his history with the paper dates back several years. The actor received a Golden Globe nomination for his portrayal of longtime Washington Post executive editor Ben Bradlee in the 2017 film The Post, a historical political thriller depicting the true story of attempts by journalists at The Washington Post to publish the Pentagon Papers, a set of classified documents regarding the involvement of the U.S. government in the Vietnam War and even earlier in French Indochina dating back to the 1940s.