*Spoiler Alert* Do not read this is if you do not want to know all about the movie.
Bombshell was released on December 13, 2019, and recounts the toxic atmosphere endured by a group of women who worked at Fox News. ALL POLITICAL VIEWS AND NEWS PLATFORM OPINIONS ASIDE- this movie is important. Charlize Theron plays Megyn Kelly, a well-liked, stunning, anchor at Fox News who is now known for asking tough questions of Donal Trump regarding his words towards women. Nicole Kidman portrays Gretchen Carlson, the first woman to publically sue Roger Ailes, the powerhouse behind Fox, for sexual harassment. Margot Robbie played a young woman aspiring to be an anchor for Fox who was working her way up the ladder at the station. Her character was fictional to represent the other 20+ women who spoke out against Ailes and the other accused harassers at Fox.
Setting all politics aside, this movie was incredible. While attempting not to spoil the entire movie, what these women and this film are showing the world is momentous. The way John Lithgow’s character uses his power to coax these women into sexual acts is real. This is happening in many businesses and industries. It is also important to state that sexual harassment in the workplace does not only happen to women. Men are also sexually assaulted/harassed and they tend to have a harder time talking about it. However, in the story represented in Bombshell the victims were all women.
Margot Robbie does an incredible job of portraying how it feels to be sexualized and pushed to do things one is not comfortable doing. She leaves the initial encounter confused and conflicted like many victims. What her boss was saying made sense….he was not explicitly asking for anything sexual….but somehow she went farther than she felt comfortable. She then blamed herself and expected it to never happen again...until it did, of course, it did. And this is exactly what happens in many real-life situations. It rarely starts out as straight forward sexual harassment or the predator has a way of making it nonchalant. She was recently nominated for a Golden Globe for Best Supporting Actress for her roll in Bombshell.
Charlize Theron looked almost identical to Megyn Kelly. She was a strong female lead who was also nominated for a Golden Globe in the category of Best Actress. When the news broke that Ailes was being personally sued for sexual harassment Kelly was quiet. Everyone noticed her silence. The network was quick to pressure her into speaking out in support of the man because there had never been any signs that Ailes had done anything wrong. Quietly, Megyn confessed to her small team that she had been harassed by him many years before. She assumed it had only been her. She assumed it would not happen to anyone else. At one point, Margot’s character calls her out for not coming forward sooner and that it might have saved her. Megyn replied that it was not her job to save her to which Margot’s character quickly replied: “it is all of our jobs to save each other.” After Megyn realized so many other women had also experienced her attacker, a fire was lit and she was actively involved in tackling the toxic work environment.
Charlize portrayed a very common position that victims find themselves in. Desperate to keep their job and not speak out, thinking it must have only been them and that they must have done something to deserve it and that it would not happen to anyone else. In the workplace, especially a toxic workplace, it is incredibly difficult to speak out against your boss. You risk your entire career, and as for Megyn Kelly in real life, her career has never been as strong as it was before the scandal at Fox.
Gretchen Carlson was the first woman to come forward accusing Roger Ailes of sexual harassment. She had taped their conversations for an entire year before knowing she had a solid case. She walked into that situation, after being fired, knowing that she was going after a powerhouse and that her reputation would be attacked from all angles. It took a very long time before anyone else stood with her or came out accusing him alongside her. Her bravery was inspirational.
This movie did an incredible job of showing the public many difficult aspects of sexual assault. How difficult it is in the moment when there is a distinct power dynamic at play, how many victims are confused about what exactly happened, how they feel after the assaults, and how difficult it is to come forward. Together, they made a difference. But it also proposed many difficult questions, Had Megyn Kelly come forward soon would she have saved anyone else from the abuse or would she just have tanked her career? This is a powerful movie and it is perpetuating a very important conversation.
All our love,
Kailey & Becky