Bias against women explored by Bombshell. Does it do #MeToo justice?

Over two years ago, the flood gates of the #MeToo movement starkly revealed the predation, bias and discrimination women still face in workplaces. The  first accusations against Harvey Weinstein transformed a small hashtag enterprise started by a lone black woman into #meToo today…and helped bring about Bombshell.

In the movie Nicole Kidman plays  former Fox News anchor Gretchen Carlson, and Charlize Theron portrays  superstar anchor and personality, Megyn Kelly. Margot Robbie is a composite of other  real-life Fox News employees who also accused Fox head, Roger Ailes, of sexual misconduct in 2017, costing him his job.

Bombshell follows Showtime’s seven-part series, The Loudest Voice (TLV), which tried to interpret the same events for TV last June. Not sure if TLV succeeded in dealing with Bias, Bombshell, #MeToo since I didn’t watch it. Also, the TLV series hasn’t been renewed yet.

What happens there will partially provide an answer to whether the TLV series succeeded.

Bias,Bombshell, #MeToo with stars Theron & Kidman & their realife counterparts

Bias,Bombshell, #MeToo & their realife counterparts

 

 

 

 

 

 

Does Bombshell succeed in its various efforts? Well, regarding it’s success as a plain-old movie, Rotten Tomatoes gives it 61% , However, it’s hard to figure out how RT gets its %’s.

What about the effort to deepen our understanding of #MeToo’s origins and success. First, though, two disclaimers –

  • I haven’t seen the movie (that’s why I’ve scanned several reviews), and
  • I’m a male (several have criticized that Bombshell was written and directed by males. Charlize Theron does produce it.)

    Bias,Bombshell, #MeToo with stars Theron, Kidman & Robbie

    Bias,Bombshell, #MeToo with stars Theron, Kidman & Robbie

Bias, Bombshell, #MeToo.

My interest here, as elsewhere, is to see if Bombshell moves the ball along in our social and cultural understanding of bias and discrimination the #meToo problem.

Of the half-dozen or so reviews I’ve perused, I’m excerpting from one that shares my interest. That’s a review by Justine Smith, a freelancer  based in Montreal, Quebec. She wisely compares Bombshell with the classic film about TV news and America,  Network.** Here are the most relevant quotes from her recent  review in Hyperallergic:

“While it touches on the toxic masculinity and systematic sexism that permeates Fox News, it does little to contextualize the industry that allowed this behavior to thrive…

Whereas Network acts as an indictment of the transformation of news into entertainment, Bombshell is uncritical in its presentation of a world where this metamorphosis has long-taken place….

Its focus on Fox News — a network often derided in Hollywood (and elsewhere) for its inherent hypocrisy, built-in misogyny, racism, and fear-mongering — makes it easy to dismiss more significant structural issues among news networks and the film and television industry more broadly. … 

It’s difficult to think of Bombshell without considering Ronan Farrow’s recent book, Catch and Kill: Lies, Spies, and a Conspiracy to Protect Predators, which, in part, expands on Farrow’s previous journalistic take-downs of Harvey Weinstein and Matt Lauer….

The crucial issue isn’t that Fox News […is]   hostile to its workers, the problem is centralized corporate power and a lack of accountability that privileges the bottom line over individual safety….

What the film fails to do, though, is anchor the story within a greater context. How and why has the 24/7 news cycle become one of the world’s most profitable and powerful tools, and what impact has that had on democracy?”

Your take?

Of course, the jury’s still out on whether stars Theron, Kidman & Robbie enrich our sense of how of bias and discrimination against workplace women is papered-over and perpetuated.

My holiday wish – that you be happy and all that, but that you comment below with your take on Bombshell.

No worries about not having seen it. Hasn’t stopped me!
I will share your comments and update mine in another blog after I’ve seen Bombshell.

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** Justine’s take on the classic: “Over forty years earlier, in 1976, Sidney Lumet’s groundbreaking film, Network, predicted much of what Fox News would become. The film opens with a voice-of-God narrator explaining the fall from grace of fictional anchorman Howard Beale, his declining ratings, and subsequent firing. Comforted by his producer pal, Max Schumacher (William Holden), Beale admits to suicidal ideation and wanting to kill himself on live TV during his last broadcast. Making light of the situation, Schumacher jokes that if he did, he’d get the highest ratings of his career. …
Throughout Network, we watch as the news transforms from an anchor reading out headlines into the rantings of an “angry prophet denouncing the hypocrisies of our time.” But, as the film progresses, it becomes more than just an indictment of the transformation of news into entertainment; it is a scathing critique of capitalism”.
To learn about CLEFT HEART: Chasing Normal, click the Amazon or Barnes & Noble buttons in the margins. Or click the image of the book cover. My coming-of-age memoir has intertwining love stories, mystery, tragedy, and triumph.

Comments

  1. Unfortunately this is so worldwide … A situation that needs to change.

  2. Bruna Surfistinha says:

    Great Article!
    Bruna Surfistinha recently posted…Consórcio: Mitos e VerdadesMy Profile

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