I have not subscribed to Apple+ and I don’t plan to. So I will not be watching The Morning Show. I’ve read some reviews which make it sound pretty good, or at the very least, very watchable. Most of the advance press about the show was about how the series had to be completely rewritten and reworked as #MeToo exploded and they wanted everything to be more about that. Reese Witherspoon has been more involved with Time’s Up than Jennifer Aniston, and Reese has been able to talk about those issues with more clarity… but even then, Reese still tends to talk around a lot of the nitty-gritty stuff. Which becomes clear as soon as a journalist presses her to talk about something more than vague rah-rah-feminism. Enter the Guardian – Reese and Jennifer sat down together for a joint interview and the result was fascinating. Reese managed to avoid the harder questions while Jennifer mostly avoided saying much of anything. Some highlights:
Jennifer on how #MeToo isn’t just about rape & assault, it’s about power imbalance: “There’s this absolute denial – ‘It was consensual, it was consensual’ – if you’re a narcissist to the degree a lot of these guys are. They think, of course every woman wants to sleep with me.”
Reese on the show not being an “echo chamber”: “This is not an echo chamber of women talking about #MeToo. It’s actually a very gender-balanced conversation because we need men watching the show. Real change doesn’t happen unless the incumbent power structure accepts it.”
Reese on being a #MeToo victim: “I wish I could tell you that was an isolated incident in my career but, sadly, it wasn’t. I’ve had multiple experiences of harassment and sexual assault,” she said. She felt, she added, “guilt for not speaking up earlier”. So does she wish she could have spoken out sooner? The temperature in the room drops palpably. “Ummm no. It was a culture of silence and silence was a condition of my employment. That’s what I was told.”
On Harvey Weinstein: “I was never alone in a room with him,” says Aniston. “I was never alone with him either. But I didn’t know why,” adds Witherspoon. “Me neither. But always someone would stand in the room,” Aniston echoes.
Jennifer on Instagram: “I find it very odd. I don’t understand it – it doesn’t make sense to me. I’d love for someone to break it down, but there it is and now it has to keep going.” She admits she joined Instagram mainly to promote the show. “But also, I think I had this idea … I don’t want to be the only person … Let’s see, what do I want to say here? I thought, ‘Why would I do this? People are already in my panty drawers all the time.’ And I want them out of my panty drawers. But now I can decide which pair to show them.”
[From The Guardian]
Regarding Reese and the icy chill in the room when the Guardian journalist asked if Reese wishes she could speak out sooner… I think it depends on how the Guardian journalist (a woman) phrased the question. It feels like perhaps Reese felt like she was being blamed for not speaking up BEFORE Me Too made it possible. Which… again, don’t blame women for the actions of men. That being said, Reese and her connection to CAA – an agency which seemed to actively procure women for Harvey Weinstein – throws everything into question for me. I’m also really tired of the undercurrent from Reese about how men desperately need to be included in all of these conversations. It bugs.
I agree with Jennifer about the narcissism of predators and extending the conversation to power imbalance even within “consensual” relationships.
Photos courtesy of WENN.
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