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Battle over Medical Marijuana; Prince William on Fatherhood; Yahoo! CEO Raises Eyebrows With "Vogue" Photo Shoot; Michigan Girl Survives Bear Attack; "The Butler" Tops Box Offices; Race Relations in America

Aired August 19, 2013 - 21:00   ET


PIER MORGAN, CNN HOST: But he remained true to that and signed a new law making New Jersey only the second state to ban so-called gay conversion therapy. Good for him.

It's been a busy few days on the national stage for New Jersey's big man. He's weighed in on gun control and medical marijuana.




MORGAN: I'll talk to that father and mother. They say Christie still hasn't gone far enough.

Plus Prince William on the newest member of the royal family and the first official pictures of Prince George.

Also, the Diana conspiracy theory. Tina Brown on the remarkable new claims of the military, maybe even the SAS could have been involved in Diana's death.

And the 12-year-old who faced a bear and was attacked twice, wounding her severely. She's here in her first live television interview.

And the surprise blockbuster of the summer. I'll talk to Cuba Gooding Jr., Lenny Kravitz and the creators of "The Butler".


FOREST WHITAKER, ACTOR, "THE BUTLER": Get the hell out of my house.


WHITAKER: Get out. Now everybody, just --

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'm sorry, Mr. Butler. I didn't mean to make fun of your hero.

(END VIDEO CLIP) MORGAN: I want to begin now with our big story tonight. The battle over medical marijuana. Chris Christie agreed on Friday to lift some restrictions in New Jersey but not enough for a lot of patients whose sick -- parents whose sick children could be helped.

Joining me now is Meghan and Brian Wilson. Their 2-year-old daughter Vivian suffers from Dravet Syndrome, a severe form of epilepsy.

Welcome to you both. Let me first all get your reaction to the actions of Chris Christie on Friday which many took to be very positive towards your case in particular. Is that how you saw it?

B. WILSON: Originally a little bit. But the problems we had were -- it didn't really go far enough. The doctor issue that we were hoping he would remove, he kept in there. He did relieve the three-strain limit that we had so that really helps us out a lot but the problem with the edibles was he's only allowing those for minors.

And the concern -- he's not allowing adult patients to get edibles. He's going to force them to smoke it. And -- the problem we have with the edibles is that we don't think that with the few limited pediatric or minor patients that need the edibles, that any dispensary will actually have the incentive to create the edibles because it's going to be a big money loser for them. So I really feel like we're right back to where we started with the passage of this bill.

MORGAN: Now, Meghan, you and Brian I know are very well versed in all things medical marijuana for obvious reasons. It can clearly provide your daughter with a huge amount of help. And we saw from Sanjay Gupta's documentary "WEED," these other benefits it can happen to all sorts of young kids in particular.

For those who don't know much about this and think medical marijuana just sounds scary, drug abuse, et cetera, explain directly now how it helps Vivian or how you believe it could help her over the longer term.

MEGHAN WILSON, FIGHTING FOR MEDICAL MARIJUANA FOR 2-YEAR-OLD DAUGHTER: Right. So the number one thing is we think it will help control her seizures either by reducing the frequency of her seizures and also the severity, but medical marijuana specifically cannabidiol or CBD also has a lot of other benefits. Many of the children who are using CBD have stronger immune systems.

They are not getting sick. Their cognitive function has improved. Any ataxia or muscle coordination issues have resolved and children are going from being in a wheelchair to walking, you know, through the mountains of Colorado. It's pretty amazing how much this medicine can do for a child with Dravet Syndrome.

MORGAN: And, Brian, you had this dramatic showdown with Governor Christie. Let's take a look at this.


GOV. CHRIS CHRISTIE (R), NEW JERSEY: I'll have a decision by Friday. I wish for the best for you, your daughter, and your family, and I'm going to do what I think is best for the people of the state.

B. WILSON: Please don't let my daughter die, Governor.


MORGAN: I mean, there can't be many emotive things to say to a governor than "please don't let my daughter die." Obviously you were very direct with him and he was quite direct back to you. He wasn't going to, I guess, bow to what he saw as a personal or emotional case in your point.

But what do you think of the way the governor has gone about this generally?

B. WILSON: He didn't really kind of want to listen to anything. I think he had his mind made up from the beginning. You know, we tried reaching out several times to talk to him or talk to his office. We tried reaching out with a lot of the experts to get -- to get them to contact him. We only spoke to his representatives.

We knew kind of going in he had his mind made up. There probably wasn't much we could do to change it. We just really wanted to get the story out there, make it publicly known what was at stake here, so that whatever decision he ended up making at the end of the day, he could be -- you know, he'd be held accountable for whatever action he did or didn't take, and you know, going down to confront him was only because we couldn't get that meeting with him.

We couldn't get an appointment. I just really wanted to get him to see that there was a public -- you know, a human face to this. I really, really wanted to bring my daughter Vivian with me. But she was really sick that day having a lot of seizures. We were on vacation at the time actually. So I had to drive up by myself to come see him. But it was an emotional day. You know?

MORGAN: Right. And very emotional to watch. And I'm a parent. I've got a young 20-month-old daughter. My heart absolutely goes out to you.

I mean, Meghan, to put it into perspective for viewers, how many seizures can Vivian have in a day?

M. WILSON: You know, Vivian on a good day will have, you know, maybe 10 seizures and those are myoclonic seizures. They, you know, happen in a second and they're over. There's nothing you can do about them. You know, up to 100 if she's sick or she's been teething lately. And her, you know, teething is huge -- these are trigger for her so she just had this kind of head bobs as a result of patterns and light.

And -- I mean, she can have them all day long. And then -- but every four days to every 10 days she will have like a grand mal or a generalized myoclonic seizures and that's a more severe seizure. So, you know, we deal with seizures all day every day.

MORGAN: Which is unbelievably harrowing thing for any parent to go through. Brian, the reality of the actions that Governor Christie took on Friday, when does that mean that you could actually use edible marijuana for Vivian legally in New Jersey?

B. WILSON: Well, today it just went -- the conditional veto just got approved by the Senate in New Jersey. It now has to go to the assembly in New Jersey. They're not scheduled to meet until November. So unless they have an emergency session to come in and approve these conditionals, we're waiting to at least November before it gets passed and then it has to go through regulation.

Then someone has to figure out how to grow these plants because they grow very differently. You have to figure out how to make the edibles for the children if they are actually even going to take that up financially.

Realistically, we're looking at probably about a year. I'd be surprised if it was less than a year before we actually had something in Vivian's hands.

MORGAN: Now you obviously, Meghan, you have options in the sense that there are states in America now that have fully legalized the use of marijuana, but for recreational and medical use. Are you tempted to take Vivian out of New Jersey and go somewhere like Colorado, for example, where it's all completely legal?

M. WILSON: Absolutely. It's a decision that we discuss every single day. We actually decided after Christie's announcement on Friday that we were going to give ourselves this week to not talk about it, regroup, and then see where we are next week. But you know, a year is a year of seizures and even if we only have to move there temporarily to get Vivian on this treatment as soon as possible, that's what we'll do.

You know, we're not going to stop at anything to help our daughter.

MORGAN: And how is she at the moment, would you say, Brian?

B. WILSON: Today she was pretty good. Yesterday she had a bad day. Every day it's very intermittent. Sometimes she'll have a partial day, a bad partial day. Right now she's doing really good because she's upstairs sleeping in her crib.

M. WILSON: She's a moody 2-year-old. So --



M. WILSON: You know, ask us by the minute how she's doing. You know, I mean, some days are better than others. And we like that actually because that's a normal side to Vivian. You know, she has tantrums like other 2-year-olds, yes.

MORGAN: Well, listen, I wish you all the very best with it. I admire your campaigning spirit on this. I think it's an issue that's gripping America right now.

B. WILSON: Thank you.

MORGAN: Medical marijuana, and I'm totally on your side with this, and wish you every success. Thank you both for joining me.

M. WILSON: Thank you so much.

B. WILSON: Thank you very much.

MORGAN: Now to our other big story tonight, royal news. Prince William sat down with CNN's Max Foster for his first interview since the birth of young Prince George. Take a listen to this.


PRINCE WILLIAM, DUKE OF CAMBRIDGE: He's a little bit of a rascal. I'll put it that way. So yes, he kind of reminds me of my brother or me when I was young, I'm not sure. But he's doing very well at the moment. He's -- he does like to keep his nappies changed. And --

MAX FOSTER, CNN ROYAL CORRESPONDENT: You did the first nappy change?

PRINCE WILLIAM: I did the first nappy, yes.


MORGAN: And Max Foster joins me now.

Max, first of all. Congratulations. Cracking scoop there. Sitting down with the future king, talking about the king after that. And how did you find Prince William? He seemed very relaxed in that interview and happy to talk?

FOSTER: Yes. I think we caught him in a moment, really. I mean, this was in the first couple of weeks of fatherhood. And I think he was just tore up in that elation. I mean, it wasn't that long ago for you, really, Piers. You can sort of see it in his -- in his eyes, he's demeanor. I think he was just completely consumed by fatherhood.

Huge respect for Kate, a lot of love for his son. He said he was emotional, perhaps because he was tired. I think that was part of it all and he wasn't distracted by a lot of the things around him, usually. So I think that's how he got to a point where he was just really sort of comfortable in giving the interview.

MORGAN: Let's take another look at the clip. This is the introduction to George. Let's watch this.


PRINCE WILLIAM: we were happy to show him off to whoever wanted to see him, as any new parent knows. You're only too happy to show off your new child and, you know, pertain that he's the best looking or the best everything.

FOSTER: You were comfortable there?

PRINCE WILLIAM: Yes. I felt -- again, it's not somewhere I enjoy being but I know that in the position I'm in that's what's required of me to do and I think it's -- you know, it's one of those things and I -- you know, it's nice that people want to see George. So, you know, I'm just glad he wasn't screaming his head off the whole way through.


MORGAN: You know, what struck me watching it, Max, is that he really has come to terms both with dealing with the media who he loathed after his mother Diana died, and also I think dealing with his sense of duty and the reality that he will one day be on the throne of England.

FOSTER: Yes, and I think what people saw as well was this side of him where he tries to take control of situations. Rather than letting the machine around him take over, what he does is try to do things which make him feel comfortable. So here coming outside we were told this is what he was going to do. Everything went to plan.

He decided everything along with Kate, you know, getting the car seat in the car, driving off. These are all things he wanted to do. He didn't have to do. But it made him comfortable and it's all about him doing things on his terms. I think he's got to the point where he knows himself better so he's able to decide what he wants to do and what will make him comfortable.

MORGAN: I mean, I thought the car seat was one of the great gambles of modern royal history. Because I've had four kids and I still can't work out car seats, and he went for it in front of the world's media. Let's take a look at this, what he said about it.


FOSTER: That moment when you came out with the car seat, I mean, we had some warning that you might be doing that.


FOSTER: Fathers around the planet will be cursing you for doing it so easily.

PRINCE WILLIAM: Believe me, it wasn't my first time, and I know there's been speculation about that. I had to practice. I really did. I was terrified that I was going to do some -- you know, it was going to fall off or it wasn't going to close properly.


PRINCE WILLIAM: So I had actually practice with that seat more than once before.

FOSTER: And your decision to drive off, I remember that moment as well. That was the most nerve wracking thing for me, having the family in the car. But that was something that you were clearly determined to do.

PRINCE WILLIAM: Where I can be, I'm as independent as I want to be. And same as Catherine and Harry. We've all grown up, you know, differently than other generations and I very much feel if I can do it myself, I want to do it myself. And there are times where you can't do it yourself and the system takes over where it's always appropriate. So doing things differently.

But I think driving your son and your wife away from the hospital was really important to me and I don't like the fuss so it's much easier to do it yourself.


MORGAN: It's hard to overstate, isn't it, Max, the impact of this royal baby and indeed the previous royal wedding on the world? I mean, they have become the superstars of the royals and I believe, given the royals' real momentum again after all of the fallout from Diana's death.

FOSTER: Yes. And here he is in front of that crowd. I mean, you don't see the image but on the other side of the street, literally, as far as you can see, media. I mean, it was such a big story and everyone wanted to know every twist and turn. Ultimately it was a story of a lady going to a hospital, having a baby, and walking out.

But people -- it fits into the fairytale, doesn't it? You know, you covered the royal wedding. You knew William as a boy. You know, you've seen him grow up, marry this girl. It's a proper fairytale and this was the next chapter in the story and it's working and people are happy for them, I think, in a news gender when there is lots of grim news out there. I think they are sort of living up to expectations in a way.

MORGAN: They are. And I like the new William. I knew him when he was young. I had lunch with him and Diana once when he was 13. He's very shy and in braces. Found the whole intrusive media very difficult to deal with. To see him coming out of his shell now and being this sort of charming young man and good father and husband, and so on, it's really good to see.

Max Foster, congratulations again. Terrific interview.

FOSTER: Thanks, Piers.

MORGAN: And you can see more of Max's interview with Prince William in a CNN documentary, "PRINCE WILLIAM'S PASSION: NEW FATHER, NEW HOPE," it premiers September 15th at 10:00 p.m. Eastern.

Thanks again, Max.

And when we come back, this conspiracy theory about the death of William's mother, Princess Diana. I'll talk to the woman who knows the royals just about better than anybody else. Tina Brown.


PRINCE WILLIAM: I think the last few weeks for me have been just a very different emotional experience, something I never thought I would feel myself. And I find - again, it's only been a short period but a lot of things affect me differently now.


MORGAN: Prince William talking about how his life has changed since the birth of Prince George. Joining me now to break down today's world news, "Daily Beast" editor-in-chief Tina Brown, who wrote the "New York Times" bestseller, "The Diana Chronicles." Tina, welcome to you.

TINA BROWN, "DAILY BEAST" EDITOR-IN-CHIEF: Thank you, Piers. It's nice to be with you.

MORGAN: What is your reaction to the new Prince William? The new, mature dad Prince William?

BROWN: He's extraordinarily appealing. I have to say, he never seems to put a foot wrong in terms of his sort of emotional connection to the world. He's now behaving just like you would hope he would be, which is this very loving family man. He's suddenly become a man with a family as opposed to a man with a bride or a man with a new baby. He has a family now. Even the dog somehow has sort of made up the picture of this new image really of Prince William.

MORGAN: What do you -- you know Diana better than most, and you wrote this riveting book about her. Why do you think Diana would have made of all of this? It seems such a shame to me that she's not around to see all this. She would have loved it, I think.

BROWN: I think she would have been so thrilled to see that all her parenting in the face of so much kind of royal difficulty and attempts to suppress and make her children live in ways that, you know, her husband had lived. It's come to fruition, actually the way she parented these boys has turned them into very contemporary young men. They are not the kind of stuffy, fussy, Victorian, old-fashioned, out of the loop people that poor Prince Charles was because they have been raised by a loving mother who actually did things like take them to theme parks and take them on water slides and take them to movies and they sat there and ate popcorn like everyone else did. It was a very normal background despite the crazy paparazzi. She did preserve that for them.

MORGAN: What about this conspiracy theory that has come out of Britain in the last 24 hours alleging that perhaps an SAS soldier may have been behind Diana's death? To me, it sounds utterly absurd but what do you think of it?

BROWN: Well, (INAUDIBLE). On the same day that we see these incredible pictures of her son, you know, who's got a child and got a life and a family, we're also still talking about whether or not Princess Diana was murdered in a conspiracy 16 years later. It's really remarkable. It's absolutely old potatoes, most of the stuff we're actually hearing It's all been blown up by the multiple inquiries that the French - you know, the French inquiry that was so extraordinarily rigorous. Then there was the Scotland Yard inquiry, Operation Paget. Then there was the big inquest. All of these inquests and inquiries have shown that this was actually not the case. She could not have been murdered.

The events of that night were so chaotic, were so variable, were so unlikely, planning such a murder would have been absolutely impossible.

MORGAN: Yes. I think if you actually study the detail, you wrote a great piece on the "Daily Beast" today revealing a lot of that detail that you had researched before. Really in the end, you're left with a drunk driver who was just driving too fast and lost control at an underpass that I've driven down. And it has a slight dip, and if you're going too fast in it and you collide with a Fiat Uno as he did, then disaster can strike. And the feeling that we now know when they investigated that was eliminated from any inquiry.

BROWN: The whole idea that the driver was blinded by a flash from this SAS - mysterious SAS officer who was masquerading as a paparazzi. The fact was the driver lost control before he went into that tunnel. And he lost control because he took off like a bat out of hell at 75 miles an hour, tires squealing pace from the paparazzi, rushed towards that tunnel which had had already been the scene of many, many accidents before because it was a lethal tunnel.

He didn't slow down because he had at least six, they thought -- four to six (INAUDIBLE) French anisette drinks that, you know, are very potent. He would mix that with Prozac and (INAUDIBLE), which are two medications that he was on. So, he not only had this combination of the medication, going too fastapproaching that tunnel at 75 miles an hour, not slowing down, going into that tunnel without any kind of care. Then this Fiat Uno comes up on the right-hand side, and he swerves to avoid it and he ricochets from one pillar to the next and finally crashes into the thirteenth pillar of the tunnel.

And of course, all of that led up to this disastrous crash. And then there was a final aspect, which is that Diana wasn't wearing a seat belt. That was the last awful detail. And the irony is that the bodyguard was wearing a seat belt, but she wasn't, and neither nor Dodi. Which is why they both died and of course, the bodyguard did not.

MORGAN: Right And I think the whole idea anyway of an SAS soldier being involved or anything like that, utterly fanciful. And we should just disregard it.

Let's turn quickly to Yahoo's Marissa Mayer, who has turned heads for her "Vogue" photo shoot. Rather racy photo shoot. A 3,000 word profile to go with it. Are you applauding Ms. Mayer for this?

BROWN: It was a very unlikely picture in a way for Marissa Mayer because she's very sort of cool and almost Nordic in sort of an aloof beauty and charm and shyness. So, it was almost like an art shot. I suspect that she was -- she's incredibly visually sophisticated. She loves fashion and style and art, and I think she was probably beguiled by the idea of this picture, almost like an art piece because it is very sort of avant garde as a picture. It does actually remind me of a time about 25 years ago, it must be that, when "Vanity Fair," we took a photograph kind of similar in its reaction of Diane Sawyer when she was at ABC.

MORGAN: Yes, I remember that.

BROWN: And Annie Leibovitz took a famous picture of her sort of lying in a very provocative pose on a couch. And everyone went crazy saying here's this serious, smart woman. She should not be doing this picture. But you know, she's a gorgeous woman, and in a way, I think she was kind of glorying in her femininity.

So, I think in this case it's actually one of the great wonderful differences between women executives and men, is you can be a geek or a sort of cracking CEO at day. But after dark, you can be seductive or be as different as you want. Men don't have an opportunity to play all those different roles. They only get to play one role. They turn up in their boring suits morning, noon, and night, and that's how they look. You know, there's no real difference. But a woman can be a little sexy fox at night and be kind of a very strict, stern boss in the day. And that's one of the things that we have over you, Piers.

MORGAN: Well, some of us men do try to sexy foxes at night, actually, Tina. We're just not very good at it.

BROWN: Oh, I know. Absolutely, Piers, I'm sorry to say. And I'm sure you show up in your completely after-hours gear. But most men do not look very different.


MORGAN: The other thing I say about Marissa Mayer which I really appreciate is I tweeted my rage at having very slow Yahoo! mail about a month ago, and she immediately tweeted back and said, I'm going to get into this and put me on to her top technicians. And before I knew it, I had wonderful e-mail again. I though, I like that kind of micromanagement.

BROWN: She's fantastic. And I mean, look at all of these acquisitions that she's done within about 20 minutes of arriving there. She's created more action at Yahoo! in the last year than we've seen in the last years before. So, I think she's quite formidable. And I love the fact that she had a baby immediately and that didn't stop with her. She went right on with it. She's wonderfully driven and incredibly high powered. There's no question.

MORGAN: Reminds me of someone else, Tina Brown. Thank you very much indeed for joining me. It's been great to have you.

BROWN: Thank you. Thank you, Piers.

MORGAN: The first family announced an addition to the White House family. Meet Sunny, a female Portuguese water dog. She joins Bo Obama, the dog the Obamas got soon after moving to Washington. First lady Michelle Obama tweeted a picture of Sunny today on the White House Web site. Says she's full of energy and very affectionate. That's the dog, I think, not the first lady. The first family made a donation to the Washington Humane Society in her honor.

When we come back, the 12-year-old who was attacked by a bear twice and pretty badly injured, but she lived to tell the tale. She joins me, along with her father, in her first television interview.


MORGAN: We have some breaking news just in now. Vice president Joe Biden's son, Beau, is being evaluated tonight to determine the cause of what's being called an episode of disorientation and weakness that he experience while on vacation with his family last week. The vice president traveled with his son to Texas for the evaluation. No other information about Beau Biden's condition was released. In 2010, he suffered what doctors said was a mild stroke. His speech and motor skills were not affected. Biden was of course, elected as Delaware's attorney general in 2006. And we wish him well.

Wildfires burning tonight in the West. More than 100,000 acres have been scorched in the fire. It's been called a beast. Idaho's Beaver Creek fire. Five thousand homes could be in the path of the blaze, including homes of celebrities like Arnold Schwarzenegger, Tom Hanks, Bruce Willis, and Richard Dreyfuss.

CNN's Ted Rowlands is live for us in Hayley, Idaho, with more. Ted, tell me what the latest is down there.

TED ROWLANDS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Piers, today was actually a pretty good day in that it didn't grow, this fire. Still, the containment level is below 10 percent and there's a lot of stake. As you mentioned, the homes here are just astronomical. There are many multimillion dollar homes in this area.

It is so bad that insurance companies have actually hired private firefighters to come in and protect specific people's homes because they have so much on the line here. Firefighters did get a little bit of help from Mother Nature. They're hoping tonight and tomorrow will give them the upper hand.

MORGAN: We'll stay on top of that as well. Ted Rowlands, thanks very much for that update.

In Michigan, we have an extraordinary story of girl versus bear. 12- year-old Abby Wetherell was jogging to her grandparents' home last week when she was attacked not once but twice by a huge black bear. Abby saved herself by playing dead. And after 100 stitches to close her wounds, she's making a remarkable recovery.

Abby Wetherell joins me now along with her father, Chris. Abby, first of all, how are you?

ABBY WETHERELL, SURVIVED BEAR ATTACK: I'm good. How are you? MORGAN: Well, better than you last week. I've not been attacked by a giant bear. Tell me what was going through your mind when this bear was coming towards you?

A. WETHERELL: What was going through my mind was, "There's a bear attacking me. Oh my gosh. This is just crazy." And I just thought I was going to die and it was just -- it was very terrifying.

MORGAN: It was obviously a lot bigger than you, but you had the common sense to play dead. Now, that is something that you get taught to do and I would imagine in the heat of the moment, you could often forget. So what made you remember that?

A. WETHERELL: Well, first I ran because I was terrified so I just started running and then it just took me down. And then when it took me down the second time, I just -- I had nothing else to lose so I just thought, "I'll just play dead" and that seemed to work. But it kind of had attacked me first.

MORGAN: When the bear attacked you, what did it actually do to you?

A. WETHERELL: When the bear attacked me, it just clawed me and it was like growling and it -- yes, it was scary. Very scary.

MORGAN: Terrifying. I mean, you had deep gashes to your thighs, your back, and cuts on your face. Needed 100 stitches.

Chris, let me turn to you. This is every father's nightmare, isn't it? Where were you when this happened, Chris, and what was your reaction when you found out what was going on?

CHRIS WETHERELL, DAUGHTER SURVIVED BEAR ATTACK: I was inside the house. I just heard a lot of screaming. I ran out, asked my wife what was going on. She heard the screaming from a neighbor who heard Abby screaming. I immediately just grabbed a gun and I ran out because I heard Abby and bear and it was just -- it was terrifying.

MORGAN: Did you see the bear?

C. WETHERELL: No, I didn't.

MORGAN: so the bear had gone and there was Abby. I mean, Abby, when that bear left, that must have been one of the best moments of your life, wasn't it?

A. WETHERELL: Yes but it was almost one of the most terrifying. I thought maybe it would come back but thank god it didn't. But actually when I was -- when Laura, my neighbor, when she went to go get my parents for help, it I guess came back and it was five yards away from me. The DNR (ph) just told me that; I had no idea. I didn't see it.

MORGAN: But now that you are OK and you're going to be OK, these must be the coolest Instagram pictures ever, right? Your stitches, I survived a bear attack.

A. WETHERELL: Oh, yes. I couldn't really go on Instagram because I don't have a phone, but it kind of went for a swim. But --

MORGAN: I think, Chris, you may have to get your daughter a phone in case she's out when another bear attacks her. How's she going to call you?

C. WETHERELL: She's had a few and she's lost a few, and she just didn't happen to have one at the time.

MORGAN: Presumably you're on Facebook, are you, Abby?

A. WETHERELL: On Facebook?

MORGAN: Are you on Facebook?

A. WETHERELL: Yes, I'm on Facebook. Yes.

MORGAN: So have you got a new Facebook status update, "I survived a bear attack?"

A. WETHERELL: I haven't been on Facebook in a while but -- because it's really hard to keep track of all of it and just to say thank you to everybody.

MORGAN: Well, you can say thank you now because it's an amazing story of survival. I'm thrilled that you're here to talk about it. Obviously, terrifying for you and your family and your dad. Chris, thank you for coming on. I'm just so glad that it ended happily for you and I really appreciate you taking the time to talk to me.

C. WETHERELL: Yes, thank you.

MORGAN: When we come back, "The Butler" did it. Topped the box office charts, that is. And next, I'll talk to co-stars Cuba Gooding Jr. and Lenny Kravitz about what it's like sharing the screen with Forrest Whitaker and of course Oprah Winfrey.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You hear nothing. You see nothing. You only serve.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You know he got that job himself. The White House called him. He didn't call the White House.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I want to hear all the story.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I don't know how many stories you're going to hear because they done swore him to some kind of secret code. I'm so proud of you.




UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They say this new white boy is smooth.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (INAUDIBLE) home glory, because he's ours.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: How is your boy doing, Cecil?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Gentlemen, the president is ready.


MORGAN: The clip there for the film has earned $25 million. It topped the box offices this weekend, Lee Daniels' "The Butler". Oscar buzz already building for the drama that tells the story of an African-American man who served eight presidents as a White House butler.

Joining me now is Cuba Gooding Jr., director Lee Daniels, and Lenny Kravitz. What a high-powered trio if ever I've seen one. Welcome, gentlemen.

Lee Daniels, you must be the happiest man in the world because this movie is a smash hit and your name is in it. I mean, they call the movie, "Lee Daniels' 'The Butler'." Congratulations.

LEE DANIELS, DIRECTOR, PRODUCER, "THE BUTLER": I am not happy because I am sitting next to the three stooges here, the two stooges here tonight. We are over the moon, actually.

Stop it!

We're over the moon happy. It's been -- it's been -- we didn't think that it was going to be -- we didn't think that it was going to be what it was going to be, and so when we reached that number, we were all -- we call each other very humbled by it. It was wonderful.


DANIELS: I did cry.

GOODING, JR.: You cried like a little girl.

MORGAN: Lenny, your acting is getting so good. We're almost forgetting that you sing as well. I mean, you must be loving this, aren't you?

LENNY KRAVITZ, ACTOR, "LEE DANIELS' THE BUTLER": It's been wonderful. And, you know, I have to give so much credit to Lee because he's the one that brought me into this by casting me in "Precious" and working with me in such a magnificent way. And the beautiful thing is that a lot of people don't even realize that it's me. It's the biggest compliment that I could be getting.

MORGAN: It's a very powerful movie, Cuba, and it obviously has a huge powerful undercurrent of the civil rights battle that has raged in America for decades. It tells it beautifully, I feel.

Oprah Winfrey obviously is great in the movie and you worked with her. She's come out very strongly in the last few weeks doing press for the movie talking about her own experiences of racism. Do they resonate with you? I mean, does every prominent black star in America have similar stories to tell?

GOODING, JR.: Oh, I'm sure they do. Everybody does. But first let me just take a moment to give a shoutout to my hockey boys in the locker room because they demanded that I do that.

I think that this -- the mechanism that he used -- Lee used so beautifully to tell the story through the butlers, through the eyes of these butlers, and through the relationship with the father and son, was so powerfully conveyed the history that is the civil rights movement.

And I think that everybody can identify with the cost that not just blacks but white Americans gave and to protect the civil liberties of the people of this time. And I think that the movie isn't biased in its approach. I think it's on a universal platform that doesn't alienate any audience. I mean, we forget that America is made up of blacks, whites, Asians, Puerto Ricans, everything. I mean, we're a melting pot of people and I think this movie kind of settles on that idea.

MORGAN: Lee, do you think that America is a more or less racist country since Barack Obama became president?

DANIELS: Wow. That's a powerful question. I think that people are angry that he's president and I think that they're showing their true colors. And I think that, you know, when Danny Strong wrote those words, "Any black man could be killed by any white man and get away with it," Trayvon Martin had not happened.

I end the movie with hope. You know, he's walking down and Obama's giving that famous speech, you know, and then I come out of my edit room and Trayvon Martin has happened. So, yes, I think so. Sadly, I think so.

MORGAN: Let me turn to you, Lenny, on this. I think I've talked to you about this before but this film has brought it into sharp focus, as has Oprah's revelations about the racism she suffered. Have you yourself suffered that kind of racism?

KRAVTIZ: Yes. As a child and in growing up, going to school, I mean, you always bump into that kind of thing by certain individuals. Has the world gotten better? In general, yes. The young generation, they don't even go for this, you know, this business. So many people just don't even understand it in the new generation.

But it's still there. There are people -- you know, when you move forward, there are always going to be people that don't want to go that way. They don't want to buy into that. They want to hold onto their traditions and their beliefs and the way that they were raised, and therefore you have a lot of people that are, you know, fighting back and showing their true colors, as Lee said. But, in general, things are getting better with each generation. MORGAN: Cuba, what's fascinating in the movie is the relationship between the father and son, with the head butler and his son. The head butler taking the view that you should be seen and not heard and that is the way you deal with things. The son completely opposite, very vociferous. Take your part in civil rights protests and so son.

Which is the right way to go? What do you advise the youth of America today, maybe in places like Chicago where they feel very disenfranchised, very disaffected? Should they be vociferous? Or should they adopt a more conciliatory way of going about dealing with racism?

GOODING, JR.: I think that was the reason why I was attracted to the screenplay, because there's several trains of thought on what's the most affective way to go, but what has happened, I think with our youth today is there's been a real disconnect with the civil rights movement and the history of it. And I think this movie opens that dialogue so that you can make your decisions as an African-American or an American, what is the best way to go about your -- you know, what is the best way to go about your relationships with people.

And I think that we, as African-Americans, you know, the film uses that mechanism of showing the two faces that professional blacks have to wear. But I think it's not just blacks. I think it's people -- your professional face is one thing and your relaxed face is another and I think that's what was so beautiful with the butlers that we used, the behind the scenes in the locker room, the bantering in the house and the relationships of family. I think that's important to convey and I think that's what this movie does so beautifully with Lee Daniels' direction.

MORGAN: It certainly does. Cuba, Lee, Lenny, stay with me. When we come back, I want to bring in the writer behind "The Butler." I'm going to ask all of you just how true to life this story is.



KRAVITZ: Well, since you asked, sir. Colored help gets paid almost 40 percent less than the white help.


KRAVITZ: Yes sir. And it's very difficult for the colored staff to be promoted.


MORGAN: Well, from a summer surprise hit, to some anyway, "The Butler." Joining us is writer, Danny Strong, Emmy winner for "Game Change." And back with me Cuba Gooding, Jr., Lee Daniels, and Lenny Kravitz.

Welcome to you, Danny. First of applause from your grateful stars there. Before we get to you, Danny, I have a lot of tweets coming in. Tweet me if you want to join in, @PiersMorgan.

"Could Lenny Kravitz please, even one second even remove his shades so we could see his wonderful, beautiful eyes."

DANIELS: We were just saying that. I was just saying Lenny, I said Lenny, could you please remove your shades.

GOODING, JR.: He's too high to do that.


KRAVITZ: You can wear mine. I don't need these.

GOODING, JR.: Now, can Lee Daniels please take his shirt off.


KRAVITZ: It's all for you, piers.

MORGAN: Let me turn to you, Danny. It's a brilliantly written movie, this. I tell you one of the things that really stunned me was the portrayal of Lyndon Johnson and the fact that he actually of all the presidents could well lay claim to have had the greatest influence potentially on the civil rights movement despite the fact that he comes out quite indiscriminately with quite racist remarks from time to time.

DANNY STRONG, WRITER, "THE BUTLER": Sure. That was one of the key points of the portrayals of the all the presidents was how you see that their -- how they behaved in their personal life was sometimes in complete odds with their policies were on race issues. And in the case of LBJ, he was a Texan through and through, and yet nonetheless -- by the way when he was in the Senate, he was extremely detrimental to civil rights, and would block civil rights bills, but when he got into the presidency, he felt like he could show his true colors on these issues and he ended up being a huge advocate, one of the greatest in the history of this nation, for civil rights.

MORGAN: Lee Daniels, obviously Oprah is great in the movie. She's great at everything, she's Oprah. And there you have a scene with Obama and you could perhaps lay claim that Oprah, the most powerful woman in the world, Barack Obama, the most powerful man in the world, both African-Americans. I've interviewed Oprah about this, and she said it did bring a tear to her eye, thinking about Martin Luther King, the dream speech and so on. You got Oprah there, and she has a huge impact on the movie. Tell me why you chose her and what you've made to the reaction of her being in it.

DANIELS: Oprah produced "Precious" with me, and we became friends and we were looking for something to do and then this came along. She was a little nervous at first but I knew that I needed as much -- I needed her in the movie, one, because she was brilliant in "The Color Purple," and I missed her actor. And I loved working with her. I got nervous, though, the first day that she came to set because all of a sudden it became "Opraaah!" and I was --


DANIELS: -- but what she did was she opened herself up in a very raw and very fragile way and she came with no one. She came just with her driver that took her to and from set and she was nervous and she was -- she was human in a way that I didn't suspect she would be and we all felt very protective of her.

MORGAN: Yes, she doesn't actually need protection. She's one of the most phenomenal people I've ever encountered in my life. And finally for you, a lot of use of the N-word, in the movie, a lot of debate about whether the N-word is ever acceptable now, whether if you reduce it -- we saw with the Trayvon Martin case -- if you reduce it to N-I-G-G-A, for example, is that acceptable? What is your view about that debate?

KRAVITZ: I think at the end of the day, it's a hard one because it is used, it has become a word that we use affectionately, in play. But I think at the end of the day, if we want it to go away, we have to cut it out completely.

MORGAN: I think that's a good way to end it. It a fantastic movie, to Lee and to Cuba, to Lenny, to Danny, congratulations on this smash hit. If you haven't seen it, everyone, go and see it. It's a heart warming, provocative movie and it tells you the civil rights story through this extraordinary butler and his under-butlers., and I commend it highly.

Thank you very much. "The Butler," of course is available in all good theaters now. Thank you all very much, chaps, we'll be right back.


MORGAN: Tomorrow, The Woz sits down with me to talk about the Hollywood version of Steve Jobs' life and why he thinks the Ashton Kutcher movie distorts the Apple story.


STEVE WOZNIAK, CO-FOUNDER, APPLE COMPUTERS: Hoping for a great movie that showed Steve Jobs, his brilliance, and how he could come up with ideas and argue with people, and make decisions, and also the nasty side of him, the one you love and hate. I wanted those emotions again and the movie was flat.


MORGAN: That's a pretty riled Steve Wozniak right here tomorrow night. It's a good interview. That's all for us, though. Anderson Cooper starts right now.