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Bombshell Focuses on Sexual Harassment in the High Pressure World of TV News

Marion Charatan

Posted on December 22, 2019 15:39

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Former Fox news anchor Gretchen Carlson became a poster child for the Me Too Movement when she charged media mogul Roger Ailes with sexual harassment.

Bombshell is a newly released film I plan to see. The cast looks great—filled with A-list actors including Academy Award winners Nicole Kidman, Allison Janney and Charlize Theron, Golden Globe Award winner Margot Robbie and actors Malcolm McDowell and John Lithgow. With this kind of talent, how can you go wrong?

But Bombshell is not just a story about good looking women: it is the seedy tale of Fox media mogul Roger Ailes' deviant behavior -- and the woman who brought him to justice.

The film was written by Charles Randolph, who also wrote The Big Short (2015) and Love and Other Drugs (2010), and directed by Jay Roach, a prolific film and TV producer. Based on depositions given by several female employees of Fox News, the script portrays sexual harassment inflicted on them by CEO Roger Ailes.

Gretchen Carlson is the protagonist, played by Nicole Kidman. She was a news anchor who brought a suit against the TV executive that reportedly was settled in 2016 for $20 million. In a Newsweek article, Carlson said "The idea that Naomi Watts and Nicole Kidman are playing me — that's surreal on its face."

Watts played Carlson in the Showtime series The Loudest Voice.

Now 53, Carlson first received national recognition when she was chosen as Miss America in 1989. The Minnesota native and Stanford grad went on to launch a successful career in TV news.

Carlson moved from CBS to Fox. In the fall of 2013, she hosted The Real Story with Gretchen Carlson, replacing Megyn Kelly (played by Charlize Theron) who had gone on to a prime time slot.

On July 6, 2016, Carlson filed a sexual harassment lawsuit in New Jersey Superior Court against Fox News Chairman Roger Ailes. She also confirmed on Twitter that she was no longer with Fox News. Shortly after, on July 21, Ailes resigned as head of Fox News. He later got a $40 million payout.

Carlson alleged that she was fired for turning down Ailes' sexual advances. The doughy-faced and married septuagenarian Ailes hit back, stating the accusations were false. However, Carlson’s attorneys said they'd been contacted by 10 other victims -- which would seem to corroborate their client's account. 

The former news anchor is now a women’s rights advocate and produces docudramas for Lifetime like Gretchen Carlson: Breaking the Silence. She also has written Be Fierce: Stop Harassment And Take Your Power Back.

As for Ailes, he died on May 18, 2017 at 77. His legacy will forever be tarnished by his abhorrent behavior.

All this ties in with the Me Too Movement. It is never acceptable to sexually harass anyone at work, no matter how powerful you are -- or even if you've worked with presidents as Ailes did. This sends a strong message: keep it up and you’ll end up on the bottom just like Ailes did at the end of his life.

Marion Charatan

Posted on December 22, 2019 15:39

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Source: WRAL

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