The new Spike Lee movie BlacKkKlansman tells a story that seems too good to be true: how a black police officer infiltrated the Ku Klux Klan during the 1970s, fooling even then-grand wizard David Duke.
In the movie, officer Ron Stallworth is played by John David Washington, but on Monday, the real deal stopped by Megyn Kelly Today.
Onscreen, Stallworth puts on a “white” voice to dupe the KKK over the phone, but the real Stallworth — who wrote a book about his operation on which the movie is based — says it didn’t happen that way.
“I talked to them on the phone exactly as I’m talking to you folks right now,” Stallworth told Kelly and the studio audience. “There was no attempt to disguise my voice. When you work undercover, you can’t play with things like that. You have to stay as true to your … natural persona as possible.”
Throughout his operation, Stallworth talked to Duke quite a bit. And despite Duke’s being the head of arguably the most racist group in the country, he and Stallworth got along — on the phone at least.
“When he wasn’t talking about race, he was a nice guy on the phone,” Stallworth said. “[But] the minute the subject of race came up, Dr. Jekyll became Mr. Hyde and the monster in him was unleashed.”
BlacKkKlansman deftly mixes humor with terror, and Stallworth managed to become a card-carrying member of the Klan. In fact, he technically still is; he pulled out his wallet and showed a worn KKK membership card to the audience.
He morbidly joked, “If I’m ever in a fatal car crash, the poor cop’s going to come up on my mangled black body and find this card.”
Sacha Baron Cohen fooled Sheriff Joe Arpaio on his show Who Is America?: