Topher Grace has allegedly reported an aggressive phone message from an anonymous caller to the police.
The former That ’70s Show star reportedly received an “ominous warning” over the phone about his new role in movie BlacKkKlansman, in which he plays plays former Ku Klux Klan Grand Wizard David Duke, and he felt it was serious enough to get the police involved.
Law enforcement sources have told editors at TMZ.com that the unknown person called him a gay slur and warned him that his role in the film would ruin race relations in America. The actor reportedly described the caller as angry and aggressive.
Police officers took an incident report over the call and it could reportedly develop into a “hate crime investigation” depending on what threats were made, if any.
In the new Spike Lee movie, an African-American police detective, played by John David Washington, manages to infiltrate the Ku Klux Klan, become the head of his local chapter and befriend Grace’s character Duke over the telephone.
During an appearance on Late Night with Seth Meyers on Tuesday night (14Aug18), the 40-year-old explained that he was thrilled to receive the call from Lee, until he realised the research he would have to undertake to prepare for the role.
“This was like the worst research imaginable. So it was like a terrible month,” he recalled, explaining that he would watch old Duke interviews and read Duke’s autobiography My Awakening: A Path to Racial Understanding, which he likened to Adolf Hitler’s book Mein Kampf.
He recalled watching Duke being interviewed on The Phil Donahue Show in the ’80s, saying, “That was really drilled down on what made him so evil. It was a studio audience, they all hated him… they’re all booing at him. It wasn’t that he flipped the crowd, by the end of the show they had a different attitude towards him. I thought ‘Oh this guy is truly evil…'”