Kilburngaelshurlingclub.org – The first time I saw Bombshell (2019) movie posters, I wondered, what is the message behind three white blonde women? This question led me to watch a 108-minute film that exposed the sexual abuse scandal on Fox News.
Director Jay Roach invites viewers to explore perspectives of three different women who work in the conservative television network from the United States. Megyn Kelly (played by Charlize Theron) is a woman who cares about women’s rights but is reluctant to claim to be a feminist. At that time, Megyn was busy preparing herself as the moderator of the debate for the 2016 Republican Presidential candidate, despite working for Fox, who affiliates with Trump, Megyn hates Trump.
Then, there’s Gretchen Carlson (Nicole Kidman). She is a host who is often being subjected to sexist jokes on television. Gretchen was eager to sue Roger Ailes for the sexual abuse she had experienced. Then, there’s Kayla Pospisil (Margot Robbie), a pious young woman who recently worked at the media company. Kayla wants to learn a lot while ensuring an established career path for herself.
When films related to the television industry or the press celebrate the task of journalists uncovering serious cases or attitudes held to the principle of journalism, Bombshell defended the dilapidated industry.
Through Bombshell, we see women who risk a lot of things to appear on television. Feet that are chafed because of high heels, suits that show off body parts, push-up bras, corsets, makeup that is demanded natural and should not be excessive, and… sexually harassed. This form of harassment can take many forms. They are ranging from verbal abuse, sexist jokes, accused of hating men, to invitations to have sex with the lure of promotion.
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This film is like laughing at what’s happening behind the industry that brought up the name Megyn or Gretchen. Behind the idealism of Megan or Gretchen, Fox News is Rupert Murdoch’s right-wing media that has political ties with Donald Trump. According to Media Bias Fact Check assessment, Fox News often uses less reliable sources.
Bombshell itself is indeed about the scandal that brought down Roger Ailes. He was the boss of the said media company who also had a political affinity with the Republican Party. Nevertheless, Ailes still works professionally. He did not limit Megyn to criticize the candidate. Unfortunately, Ailes used her authority to silence the women who were victims. He threatened to fire victims, destroy both their careers and personal lives. Megyn herself said that Ailes installed a secret surveillance camera and tapped into employee chats in the Fox office environment.
The sexual abuse scandal by Ailes surfaced in 2016 when Gretchen Carlson, host of Fox & Friends, filed a lawsuit against Ailes. The lawsuit triggered an internal investigation of the women who worked on the Fox News news network. Megyn Kelly, who was on the rise, was one of 26 women who testified against Ailes. The lawsuit forced Ailes to resign in July 2016. The adaptation carried out on this scandal may have been dramatized and did not involve Megyn or Gretchen.
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My husband @dougbrunt and I recently took our three kids to see the movie “Frozen 2.” As we walked into the theatre, our 6-year-old stopped at this poster promoting another movie hitting the big screen. The ad confused him because it appears to show a picture of me. But while the movie “Bombshell” is loosely based on my experience during the sexual harassment scandal at Fox News, I have nothing to do with this film. I did not sell the rights to my story or book and only got my first look at the film once it was past the point of any possible edits, though there are certainly some I would have made. Watching this picture was an incredibly emotional experience for me, and for those with whom I saw it. Sexual harassment is pervasive in this country; it can leave scars that do not heal. My heart goes out to those who’ve gone through it, who I hope might find some comfort in this story. As for my thoughts about the film, I’ll have more soon.
Harassment is apolitical.(I’m a lifelong Indepedent) @jemelehill almost all of us couldn’t participate in movie because of NDAs which muzzle us.After jumping off cliff by myself 7/6/16 I hope u will support our mission to have every voice heard. Thank u @LiftOurVoicesUS #stopNDAs https://t.co/Svz598uCqn
— Gretchen Carlson (@GretchenCarlson) January 2, 2020
Indeed. As also explained in this film, Fox finally apologized and paid compensation to the victims. However, victims are required to sign agreements not to open cases.
The production of Bombshell began in May 2017, shortly after the death of Roger Ailes. In the same year, a series of cases of sexual harassment by Harvey Weinstein came out to the public and responded by the mushrooming of the #MeToo movement.
When watching Bombshell, you should not expect that three women work together to bring down a big enemy. Bombshell is precisely the opposite of this; this film depicts the cruelty of industries that pitted women. There was Gretchen who felt threatened because her position was targeted by Megyn, the cynical stares of fellow female emcees, and intimidating glances between Megyn, Gretchen, and Kayla when the women were in the elevator.
It’s not easy for women to speak out about the sexual harassment that they have experienced. Instead, they could only testify years later when there were victims who claimed. In fact, when they want to testify, threats from co-workers also lurk. After all, they work in conservative media like Fox. Once worked as a Fox reporter, it’s like terminating employment opportunities elsewhere after leaving the television network.