Michael Moore’s instincts in the summer of 2016 were right. Donald J. Trump became America’s next president, but you might be surprised to learn who he thinks put him there: Gwen Stefani.
Fahrenheit 11/9, which had its world premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) Thursday (Sept. 6) and an additional screening on Saturday (Sept, 8), could’ve been called How The F–k Did This Happen? He says this very phrase at one point, and it’s the premise of the documentary, which opens on 1500 screens in the United States and Canada on Sept. 21.
The filmmaker — who calls the 45th President an “evil genius” — looks at how and why Trump got elected in his latest documentary. “Yes, it was the Russians,” he says in the film, “and it was James Comey,” but the real reason was Stefani. The doc then breaks down how his decision to run was an ego-driven fake-out after Trump learned the singer got paid more money as a judge on The Voice than he earned hosting The Apprentice.
When asked in the Q&A by Billboard if he tried to interview the pop star for Fahrenheit 11/9, Moore said no.
“I don’t blame her,” he was quick to point out at TIFF. “I just happen to know the truth of how that whole thing came down. He was upset that a woman was making more money than him, who was on another NBC show. He thought he would play NBC by having a couple of rallies and showing just how popular he was across the country and it all backfired on him and then we got stuck with him. I don’t blame her for that.”
And what does Moore suggest to those Democrats who believe they’re going to win the House in November? “You’re the one costing us the election,” he said in no uncertain terms. “You have to stop thinking that way and you gotta figure out which weekends in October you’re going to drive to a swing district and go door to door and knock on doors.
“If you’re not doing that, then don’t complain about Trump because he will be reelected in 2020,” he continued. “If he gets through this, it will strengthen him; he will win reelection. The Democrats have nobody to put up against him who is going to defeat him. He is an evil genius. He outsmarted them all and he’ll do it again.”
He added, “If you don’t embrace that fact, if you’re living in a fantasy that good will triumph over evil, if you’re an American, then you should move to Canada — it’s a happier place.”
Fahrenheit 11/9 will premiere stateside on Monday (Sept. 10) in his hometown of Flint, Michigan, a city in crisis due to the tainted water scandal featured prominently in the film. It was also the location of his first feature, 1989’s Roger & Me. The New York premiere is Thursday (Sept. 13) with a Washington, D.C. premiere to follow on Sept. 17.