Good Girls Revolt Tackles Timely Issues of Sexuality and Sexism

by | October 26, 2016 | Comments

Good Girls Revolt: Anna Camp, Erin Darke, Genevieve Angelson (Amazon)

The allegations against Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump and ex–Fox News Chairman and CEO Roger Ailes have shined a glaring spotlight on sexual harassment issues this year. The cast and crew of Good Girls Revolt know such stories too well, having brought such tales to vivid, streamable life in this new Amazon series.

The only difference? The scenarios portrayed in the show happened nearly 50 years ago.

Premiering October 28 with 10 episodes, Good Girls Revolt follows the fictionalized true story of female researchers at Newsweek (changed to “News of the Week” in the show) in the late 1960s who sued their bosses for the opportunity to be writers and reporters — all of whom were men at the time.

Showrunner Dana Calvo (Narcos) told Rotten Tomatoes that they shot one scene involving a sexual assault that the male executives on the production “just didn’t believe it happened, yet everyone [the women] in the room said it did.” Calvo said the network gave some pushback, but the scene did go forward and is in the show.

“The irony is that if we had tried to write a character half as grotesque as him [Trump] we would have been told he was two-dimensional and not believable,” she said.

Much of the series strikes a chord with current political and social issues, beyond the harassment cases to working moms and the language we use to talk about women in the workplace.

“It’s both exciting to think we’ve come so far and horrifying to think something that started 50 years ago is still something we’re fighting for,” said Chris Diamantopoulos (Episodes), who plays Finn Woodhouse, the North American editor of the magazine. “Or maybe it’s inspiring that we’re still fighting. There were women who were willing to put themselves on the line.”

Calvo agreed: “Is Donald Trump the first idiot to talk about grabbing someone’s pussy? No, he’s gross, but it’s a caricature. It’s Jabba the Hut. Unfortunately, he won’t be the last, but now we have the language to talk about … sexual assault. In 1969, it was OK for an editor to walk up behind a researcher, to rub her ass and compliment her on how she smells.”

The cast was hesitant to call their characters “feminists,” but agree that these women were trailblazers in their time.Good Girls Revolt: Genevieve Angelson, Erin Darke, Grace Gummer (Amazon)

“All of these women just wanted to write, they weren’t trying to change the world,” Genevieve Angelson (Backstrom), who plays free-spirited Patti. “They just wanted to be hired as writers at News of the Week. But that’s what feminism is: It’s about having opportunity.”

Angelson added that she had to remind herself how Patti would act given the era.

“I grew up being a kid who was already obsessed with the ’60s. I kind of wanted to be Penny Lane in Almost Famous,” she said. “For me it was just kind of a question of how would I hold my body in 1969 and not in 2016, when I’m bent over an iPhone.”

Pitch Perfect alum Anna Camp plays the prim, well-bred Jane — not too far a cry from her previous roles in the a capella hit and as anti-vampire crusader Sarah Newlin on HBO’s True Blood — and someone who Camp said would never use the word “feminist.”

“I play these similar types of women, but there was much more opportunity to be vulnerable and real with Jane. [The writers] gave her places to go that were honest and true,” Camp said.

Lynn Povich — a journalist who was among the women suing Newsweek back in the ’60s and wrote the book the show is based on — does call the women feminists, Calvo explained.

“These women had no grand plan,” Calvo said. “They just wanted to be treated fairly — a humble, exquisitely reasonable request.”

While there is still work to do on equality in the workplace, one area that sticks out in the Mad Men–era show is how far society has come in being more open and accepting of sexuality and women’s ownership of their bodies. Erin Darke, who most recently starred in Mike Birbiglia’s Don’t Think Twice, plays Cindy, who has perhaps the most dated role of the group in struggling with being comfortable with her sexuality in the first several episodes.

Good Girls Revolt: Erin Darke, Anna Camp (Amazon)

“Nobody uses a diaphragm any more. [Cindy’s] come the farthest. As women now, we are growing up and finding what we want, what we believe. Working on the show for me taught me to have such an appreciation for what came before us and put the fire in me to keep fighting for me,” Darke said, adding lightly, “But I’m not married to someone who calls having sex ‘watching Ed Sullivan.’”

The researchers are joined in the show by historical characters whose real-life identities are represented as well, seamlessly blending a fictionalized version of real events with reality. Eleanor Holmes Norton, for example, is portrayed by Joy Bryant, and Calvo said the congresswoman was more than cooperative with her likeness being in the show (after the production’s legal department initially told Calvo “no”).

“I just called her up and was like, ‘How do we do this?’ She was like, ‘I am a black American. I would never censor you. That First Amendment gave us everything. Tell your lawyers that,’” Calvo related.

The writer and director Nora Ephron, who was part of the research pool in real life, is played in three episodes by Grace Gummer (Mr. Robot).

Diamantopoulos gushed over his female costars and acknowledged that, despite being an evolved man and an ardent feminist, he still had more to learn.

“It made me aware of the fact that everything that we say and do in a work environment needs to stay work related and neutral, and in the entertainment business, there’s a very opaque line of what [that is] — there are very blurred lines about what’s appropriate and what’s not,” he said.

Good Girls Revolt premieres on Amazon Prime on October 28

Tag Cloud

dceu streaming movies HBO Tarantino worst movies space asian-american 4/20 strong female leads trailers medical drama rt archives Oscar hispanic heritage month Syfy Film Festival Television Academy Trophy Talk YouTube Red Comedy FOX marvel comics Freeform docuseries 2016 feel good Horror Britbox documentaries Instagram Live scorecard dogs monster movies black summer TV preview 90s slashers justice league period drama Election teaser Family Super Bowl Starz Writers Guild of America concert Travel Channel elevated horror Paramount Plus target crossover historical drama Wes Anderson 2017 zombies japan Best Actress Spike social media Sundance TV A&E Mystery 45 toy story Character Guide Turner Classic Movies RT21 Winter TV Columbia Pictures zero dark thirty spinoff TCA TV One Podcast Fall TV reviews Pirates spanish language Fantasy basketball die hard Masterpiece Film mission: impossible reboot Superheroe satire rom-coms SDCC Exclusive Video universal monsters Marathons Apple TV Plus The Academy comics supernatural ratings Christmas hispanic parents kaiju The Witch laika sitcom streaming FX on Hulu TV Land comiccon superhero Polls and Games wonder woman game show Pacific Islander Black Mirror Biopics latino composers razzies VICE Trailer RT History police drama breaking bad First Reviews Musicals Arrowverse saw TCA 2017 Holidays comic book movies fresh indie Extras zombie Marvel Television Netflix Christmas movies godzilla Lifetime Christmas movies children's TV Martial Arts cinemax young adult 93rd Oscars foreign dark Action Calendar green book unscripted TBS 78th Annual Golden Globe Awards classics Superheroes debate superman Lucasfilm chucky 94th Oscars remakes Creative Arts Emmys screenings cancelled TV series stop motion harry potter high school crime drama OWN romance dreamworks Animation cults Disney Plus boxoffice Nat Geo E3 BET legend Pop TV festival aliens LGBTQ adenture science fiction Countdown AMC Stephen King 99% richard e. Grant GoT GIFs casting criterion sag awards films rt labs critics edition Endgame CBS summer TV Box Office Binge Guide Hallmark Christmas movies singing competition New York Comic Con Universal Epix Red Carpet ghosts live action sequels The Walking Dead ABC Signature BBC live event comic books Music Funimation finale The Arrangement TCA Winter 2020 renewed TV shows Premiere Dates Warner Bros. TCM Crackle CMT crime thriller Mary Tyler Moore Photos cancelled TV shows diversity ID mob Paramount Pictures Fargo cancelled television mockumentary Nominations 72 Emmy Awards Shudder critic resources biography disaster animated Set visit political drama Infographic marvel cinematic universe WarnerMedia Kids & Family king kong kong popular rotten TNT fast and furious USA art house suspense TIFF Amazon Prime Video Disney streaming service DirecTV what to watch prank cats Video Games Fox News all-time adaptation doctor who Best Actor Trivia nature Sundance Now Turner summer preview Heroines Amazon Studios HFPA National Geographic Holiday new zealand TV Focus Features Comics on TV Pixar rotten movies we love critics Alien Ghostbusters telelvision Showtime Women's History Month 79th Golden Globes Awards talk show transformers blockbuster Emmy Nominations NBA Crunchyroll GLAAD BAFTA Rom-Com BBC America canceled TV shows movies BBC One Tokyo Olympics ABC Family movie Song of Ice and Fire halloween BET Awards E! VH1 IFC Films biopic Oscars 2021 jamie lee curtis true crime Best Picture YA dragons obi wan Walt Disney Pictures independent golden globes news know your critic The CW Acorn TV anthology spider-man Opinion HBO Go Country TV renewals aapi pirates of the caribbean directors tv talk Avengers dc Musical twilight Broadway TruTV APB gangster ESPN Elton John Star Trek video on demand Cosplay a nightmare on elm street indiana jones emmy awards Spring TV TV movies Bravo Marvel FX based on movie action-comedy serial killer cartoon festivals DC Universe deadpool HBO Max The Walt Disney Company batman olympics cars Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt President SXSW 2022 hidden camera Captain marvel ViacomCBS OneApp Rocky A24 73rd Emmy Awards canceled international San Diego Comic-Con new york sopranos heist movie First Look golden globe awards crime book spanish new star wars movies Nickelodeon Cannes free movies Brie Larson SundanceTV spy thriller best YouTube christmas movies Image Comics south america football MTV travel Pet Sematary 2020 award winner Apple italian 71st Emmy Awards docudrama halloween tv trophy australia Hollywood Foreign Press Association Mary Poppins Returns Ovation screen actors guild PBS cooking Paramount Network Marvel Studios 2018 kids Sci-Fi thriller french TCA Awards game of thrones vs. Sony Pictures psycho DC streaming service lord of the rings worst ABC Vudu cops VOD royal family revenge Sneak Peek Fox Searchlight romantic comedy quibi El Rey werewolf blaxploitation anime Year in Review japanese spain comic Black History Month theme song Pop mcc Interview Thanksgiving Awards comedies book adaptation mutant The Purge hollywood Disney Channel Paramount Academy Awards History streamig nfl CBS All Access spider-verse Amazon Prime Schedule YouTube Premium Logo Western SXSW Legendary Baby Yoda Amazon Toys Watching Series name the review cancelled CNN Reality Rock Emmys venice 24 frames scary television NYCC CW Seed Comedy Central 2015 robots American Society of Cinematographers Summer WGN leaderboard scary movies blockbusters PaleyFest boxing witnail versus 1990s vampires jurassic park joker 20th Century Fox Drama Sundance Grammys Mary poppins binge Certified Fresh miniseries stoner TLC Esquire Cartoon Network Television Critics Association black comedy Lifetime Disney+ Disney Plus Teen slasher Lionsgate war Mindy Kaling Discovery Channel Netflix james bond sports child's play 007 Peacock Valentine's Day Chilling Adventures of Sabrina FXX Pride Month MGM video dexter obituary natural history MCU South by Southwest Film Festival LGBT Star Wars Chernobyl Dark Horse Comics stand-up comedy Hallmark Neflix IMDb TV IFC See It Skip It Best Director women Quiz Tubi Comic-Con@Home 2021 adventure Winners 21st Century Fox Universal Pictures Hulu Classic Film Reality Competition king arthur Tumblr Anna Paquin DGA PlayStation Disney comic book movie Apple TV+ scene in color Food Network Tags: Comedy MSNBC series discovery Adult Swim Tomatazos genre AMC Plus psychological thriller NBC 2019 sequel technology Spectrum Originals hist Comic Book X-Men franchise nbcuniversal documentary facebook USA Network toronto Ellie Kemper Shondaland ITV Mudbound Prime Video rt labs Awards Tour posters dramedy Rocketman Hear Us Out archives DC Comics politics Best and Worst