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‘The Handmaid’s Tale’ star and producer: ‘We’re on a very, very slippery slope toward Gilead’

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Activists in favour of the legalization of abortion disguised as characters from Canadian author Margaret Atwood's feminist dystopian novel "The Handmaid's Tale", perform at the "Parque de la Memoria" (Remembrance Park) in Buenos Aires, on August 5, 2018. - Argentina's Senate on August 1 approved the text of a bill to legalize abortion that will be put to a vote on August 8. As approved by Congress' lower house on June 14, the bill sent to the Senate legalizes abortion during the first 14 weeks of pregnancy and provides for conscientious objection for practitioners, but not for a hospitals. (Photo by ALEJANDRO PAGNI / AFP) (Photo credit should read ALEJANDRO PAGNI/AFP/Getty Images)

NEW YORK — ‘The Handmaid’s Tale’ cast and crew feel like America is turning into the hellscape their show’s fictional Gilead portrays.

“We’re on a very, very slippery slope toward Gilead,” Warren Littlefield, an executive producer of the Hulu show, told CNN’s “Reliable Sources” host Brian Stelter Sunday.

“Yes, yes,” Ann Dowd agreed.

Dowd plays Aunt Lydia, one of the most ardent supporters of a post-apocalyptic fascist regime that, in the show, replaced the United States sometime in the not-too-distant future. The show, which is about to air its third season, is based on Margaret Atwood’s 1985 novel. The story portrays a country in which women have virtually no rights.

When Stelter asked how close or how far the United States is from Gilead, Dowd and Littlefield said they believed the country is growing closer to that reality.

“We’re a heck of a lot closer than we were in season one, which is terrible,” Dowd said. The cast and crew filmed the first season during the 2016 US presidential election. “It was scary in season one, and it got more and more serious as we were shooting the pilot that ‘this is happening.'”

As an example, Dowd pointed to a series of laws restricting abortion that state legislatures have passed in recent weeks. “When I saw what was going on in Georgia, I thought, ‘This can’t be real,'” she said. “It stunned me.”

Littlefield said “The Handmaid’s Tale” isn’t scheduled to film in any of the states that passed the abortion laws. If it were, he said “I would not go near there.”

He noted that the cast and crew began producing the show as the alt-right and Brexit movements began to grow, and they felt “things were changing.”

“And now, a few years later, we’re feeling it is arrived,” he said.

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