The movie Bombshell addresses four issues:
- Slanted news coverage
- Sexual harassment
- The effect of selling one’s soul for a mess of pottage
- Corporate power structure
… Bombshell, which chronicles the takedown of the late Fox News founder and CEO Roger Ailes. …features Nicole Kidman as former Fox News anchor Gretchen Carlson and Charlize Theron as Megan Kelley. Margot Robbie also stars as a fictional associate producer who appears to be a composite of other real-life Fox News employees who accused Ailes of misconduct during the 2017 Fox News sexual harassment scandal. Source link
It’s been nearly two years since the first accusations against Harvey Weinstein broke, opening the flood gates of the #MeToo movement. Since then, Hollywood has made a handful of coy attempts to represent the events on-screen (ostensibly to channel women’s rage into views and ticket sales) with varying results. But the recent trailer for an upcoming film offers the second direct, on-screen depiction of a major #MeToo-era sexual harassment scandal—and it’s the first that promises to do it well.[Bombshell’s] …first trailer, released last week, features Nicole Kidman as former Fox News anchor Gretchen Carlson and Charlize Theron as Megyn Kelley. Margot Robbie also stars as a fictional associate producer who appears to be a composite of other real-life Fox News employees who accused Ailes of misconduct during the 2017 Source link
1. Slanted news coverage
When a journalism major at Syracuse University, over and over the journalism professors stressed the importance of accurate reporting, that a free press that presented the truth was essential for our democracy to continue. . (Syracuse University has long been considered to be the top undergraduate journalism school east of the Mississippi.) Repeatedly they emphasized that one must check sources to make sure the reporting was accurate, that even what was or was not printed had an effect on readers. That all sides of an issue need to be presented. Credibility was essential, slanted reporting and yellow journalism were detrimental to both society and to our potential careers. Engaging in such could/would eliminate career potential.
We were encouraged to read and examine papers with high standards such as the New York Times, the Chicago Tribune, and the Philadelphia Inquirer. Whenever something amiss is reported in any of these or other such news media publications, it makes headlines because it is a man bites dog situation.
When a news media with a poor reputation slants the news, there are no headlines because this is a dog bites man story.
Newspapers, radio and TV stations such as CBS, NBC, and NPR will not hire reporters who have worked for newspapers and stations that slant the news, the reason the Fox employees in the movie are so concerned about losing their jobs. If they were to lose their jobs their careers would be over.
2. Sexual harassment
Although no one discusses what is going on, everyone knows. The competition is fierce among these beautiful women for the glamour jobs at the top. Tight, revealing clothes are worn by every ambitious woman at the company. Desire for those positions overcomes morality. The women learn that complying with their boss’s sexual requests, is the path for advancement. Not to do so means destroying their careers. Not only would they loose their current jobs, but they would also loose the likely possibility of being able to obtain work elsewhere in media.
Margot Robbie, starring as a fictional associate producer, is warned, as she leaves her current media job for Fox News. But she is enamored with Fox News, and the possibilities she imagines at her new job. The movie presents her subsequent experience at Fox News, giving the viewer and understanding of the job atmosphere for women there.
Perhaps the reason the women at Fox News finally come forward is because they wish to redeem at least some of their self-respect. They are also probably very angry that, in order to keep their jobs, they have been put into such humiliating positions. In this case even though there was retribution, the question remains, what has all of this cost them?
4. Corporate power structure
The movie provides an education on how corporate power is structured at Fox News. the women quickly learn that if one is female, one’s position in the company is based on looks, talent, sex appeal, and especially sexual compliance. Money and birthright provide power, proven by the Murdock men in the film. The amount of money given out as settlement and compensation to the sexually-harassed women is staggering, giving a window into just how much money Fox News makes. Willingness to satisfy a boss’s wishes works well, at least for the moment. Looks and glamour enable. At all companies it pays to learn more about the corporate structure before taking the job. Within many corporations one might be hard pressed to find any equality or democratic organization of any kind. Teamwork may be nonexistent. But when it exists, a company benefits.
College political science classes teach that all power corrupts, a comment often attributed to Niccolo Machiavelli. Bombshell supports that claim.
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© Laurel Hoffmann, 2019.