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The #MeToo Film You Need To See…

The Handbook
By Lottie Hulme | 17th September 2019

Are you ready for this Bombshell?

There’s a new movie capturing the attention of the masses and the silence of its trailer is possibly one of the most powerful introductions of a film to date. Bombshell delves into the complex, tainted and torn history of women who’ve been conditioned to self-censor in the face of workplace sexism. In an age of #MeToo, it’s perhaps unsurprising that the new movie, starring Margot Robbie, Charlize Theron and Nicole Kidman, has got eyes all over it and a towering amount of trailer views. The three blonde, female stars stand tense and wordless in an elevator with glance exchanges between the trio making for a powerful undercurrent that haunts the narrative. It’s short, it’s uncomfortable and it’s tipped for an Oscar, which would be a great triumph given the message surrounding the film, based on true events.

The actresses are playing the real-life women Gretchen Carlson (Kidman) and Megyn Kelly (Theron) and Margot Robbie’s character is fictionalised. The movie recounts the chilling tale of the toppling of Fox News’ former chairman and CEO Roger Ailes, which came before the #MeToo landscape of more of an openness towards sexual assault in the work place. CEO Roger Ailes stepped down after more than 20 women, including Kidman and Theron’s characters, accused him of sexual harassment and the film, we believe, couldn’t come at a more apt time.

Tell me more…

Bombshell, directed by Jay Roach, is set to be released in cinemas later this year, approximately around the 20th of December. The film centres around the explosive results of the Fox News sexism scandal and has the gaze of the world thanks to the stellar line-up of A-list actresses telling the tale and, we can imagine, will open up quite the conversation after its release.

And Roger Ailes?

Roger Ailes, played by John Lithgow, was first accused of sexual misconduct in Gabriel Sherman’s 2014 biography The Loudest Voice in the Room. In this, a female producer tells of the time that Ailes offered her a pay rise if she agreed to have sex with him whenever he agreed. From this, Gretchen Carlson then a filed her sexual-harassment lawsuit against him in July 2016 and the floodgates opened.

Ailes launched conservative media outlet Fox News in 1996, with instruction from Rupert Murdoch to do so. By 2009, the television executive was pocketing an annual salary of about $20 million, however Ailes was taken down, not without a fight, by the string of accusations held against him, including Fox anchor and American household name Megyn Kelly who told of Ailes making non-consensual sexual advances. He died in May 2017, aged 77.

Lithgow, who plays Ailes, has spoke at Sundance earlier this year, stressing that the film is about the women who spoke out as opposed to being about Ailes: “There’s so much talk about the very good signs that there’s so many great women’s stories being told.

“This might be one of the best because it really is about six or seven extremely different women who have extremely different experiences and response of the crisis at Fox. I play the crisis.”

Keep an eye out for Bombshell coming to cinemas later this year…

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