On January 9th Megyn Kelly uploaded a video to her Youtube channel discussing her feelings about the movie Bombshell (2019) with Juliet Huddy, Rudi Bakhtiar, Julie Zann, and her husband Doug Brunt. All were portrayed in this film. Unsure of what content this video would present, I dove in and found a lot of interesting takes and valid critiques of the movie.
As a viewer sitting in the dark theater watching Bombshell, there is a lot of anxiety. Even if I did not know all the sordid details of the downfall of Roger Ailes, I still generally knew the story. It’s the same story that many women shed light on during the #MeToo movement. During the entire movie my friends and I kept turning to each other to remark how anxious we all felt. Our anxieties, however, could definitely not compare to those felt by these women when they watched the movie. I had not even thought about how triggering it might be for these women to see a depiction of what happened to them.
There is a specific elevator scene where Margot Robbie’s character gets a call to go up to Roger Ailes’ office. The entire way the audience knows what is about to happen when she enters. It’s something many women fear and, unfortunately, many women still experience. This scene hit home for many of these women who worked at Fox and knew exactly what would happen in Ailes’ office. He would comment on their appearance, talk about how they must have sexy lingerie, and make them do the spin.
Megyn Kelly explained that many people may not understand how humiliating it is to be asked to do the spin. She was an intelligent, powerful lawyer and being asked to spin so that some man could belittle her was humiliating. She remarks on how she wishes she could go back and not do the spin and how perhaps she could have blown up her career and called Ailes out. Even with these regrets she points out how unfair it was that the movie used Margot Robbie’s character to call her out on not reporting the harassment. Indeed, this scene did come across as victim blaming. It reintroduces the same victim blaming that many female celebrities harassed by Harvey Weinstein were met with.
Kelly explained that she could not critique Charlize Theron’s portrayal of her because she was too close to it. Her husband agreed with this opinion, saying her voice seemed forced and it was a bit too one sided. Personally, I thought Theron looked and sounded exactly like Kelly. Theron put on a wonderful performance and the viewer can tell how much time was dedicated to the portrayal.
Rudi Bakhtiar also shared her thoughts on her depiction. Bakhtiar’s harassment by anchor Brain Wilson was depicted in the film. Bakhtiar explained that the harassment really did happen the way it did in the movie. It was accurate except for the words in her head. Megyn Kelly responded, saying that the editorialized thoughts in the movie were the most relatable aspect of it. They capture exactly how a woman thinks when she is expecting to face harassment. Bakhtiar continues to explain how the day following the harassment she was fired. Her entire career seemed to be gone in an instant because she would not show some guy her hotel room.
The video response explained many different aspects of the harassment. Listening to the takes of the women who went through this is eye opening. I recommend anyone who has not seen Bombshell (2019) to go see it while it is still in theaters. From the music to the performances, it’s a very good film. After watching Bombshell, I recommend watching this Youtube video which helps to not only elaborate but give another perspective on the incidents depicted in the film.