Despite comedian Michelle Wolf’s comparison of Sarah Sanders and Aunt Lydia of The Handmaid’s Tale, Aunt Lydia herself says she “would make mincemeat” out of the Trump administration’s press secretary. According to the Huffington Post, Ann Dowd, the award-winning actress who plays Aunt Lydia, spoke about the administration in an interview on Late Night with Seth Meyers.
Dowd’s comments came as she and Meyers spoke about Wolf’s monologue at the White House Correspondents’ Dinner.
“And, of course, we’re graced with Sarah’s presence tonight,” Wolf said. “I have to say, I’m a little starstruck. I love you as Aunt Lydia in the Handmaid’s Tale.”
Wolf’s comments drew harsh criticism from people on both sides of the aisle, with many journalists tweeting their support of Sanders and criticizing Wolf’s routine. The White House Correspondents’ Association president Margaret Talev said that the purpose of the dinner is to “offer a unifying message about our common commitment to a vigorous and free press while honoring civility.” She added that Wolf’s bit “was not in the spirit of that mission,” according to Politico.
Dowd says she watched Wolf’s monologue while in Australia. She added that she was confused at first, then thought that it must have been a part of a sketch on Saturday Night Live.
“I really thought that because I said, no one could sit there and listen to that and stay in their seat. And then I thought, who has the bravery to say those things?” Dowd said.
She also added that Aunt Lydia, who ruthlessly rules the handmaids in Gilead, would have President Trump “figured out.”
“Narcissism is her least favorite sin. And she does have some compassion for mental illness, but not a lot. She would have taken care of business immediately,” said Dowd.
The Handmaid’s Tale is a novel written by author Margaret Atwood and published in 1985. Set in a city called Gilead, it focuses on the journey of the handmaid Offred. In the patriarchal society that Offred lives in, women’s rights have been abolished. They are divided into classes of women, and those who are handmaids are the only women able to give birth. Offred is assigned to the Commander and his wife, Serena Joy, in the hopes she would bear a child. She begins a secret relationship with the Commander, and with his driver, Nick. Between Offred’s interaction with the Commander, his wife, and Nick, are moments of Offred’s observations of the world around her.
The book was well-received and is often regarded as a feminist masterpiece. Hulu developed the book for a television show in 2017. Many have compared the events in The Handmaid’s Tale with the actions of the current administration.