“I wouldn’t see this movie if the fate of humanity depended on it. Pains me to say that because I love the three lead actresses,” Hill tweeted on Thursday. “Fox News is a destructive, despicable force. Did they ever consider that the reputation of the network and Roger Ailes was too toxic?”
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While “Bombshell” stars Nicole Kidman, Margot Robbie and Charlize Theron as three Fox News employees taking on the culture of the company under the now-disgraced Roger Ailes (played by John Lithgow), the timely subject matter and star-studded cast didn’t equal a box office smash. The film premiered on Dec. 20 and has generated $19.6 million domestically as of Jan. 2, on an estimated $32 million budget .
I wouldn’t see this movie if the fate of humanity depended on it. Pains me to say that because I love the three lead actresses. Fox News is a destructive, despicable force. Did they ever consider that the reputation of the network and Roger Ailes was too toxic? https://t.co/chYQ6K3lSo
Hill’s tweet came in response to “The Hill” journalist Joe Concha’s column, which speculated that moviegoers are not interested in digesting a feature-length version of the much-publicized Fox News saga, while also arguing that Hollywood fails to tell the stories of the more liberal #MeToo figures such as Harvey Weinstein and Matt Lauer.
Hill’s critique drew a rebuttal from ex-Fox News host Gretchen Carlson, who played a major role in putting the spotlight on sexual harassment allegations against Ailes. She is portrayed by Kidman in “Bombshell.”
“Harassment is apolitical,” Carlson responded on Twitter. “Almost all of us couldn’t participate in movie because of NDAs which muzzle us. After jumping off cliff by myself 7/6/16 I hope u will support our mission to have every voice heard.”
Harassment is apolitical.(I’m a lifelong Indepedent) @jemelehill almost all of us couldn’t participate in movie because of NDAs which muzzle us.After jumping off cliff by myself 7/6/16 I hope u will support our mission to have every voice heard. Thank u @LiftOurVoicesUS #stopNDAs https://t.co/Svz598uCqn
Ex-Fox News contributor Julie Roginsky, who filed a lawsuit against Fox News, Ailes and Bill Shine that was settled in 2017, tweeted, “I certainly hope that this isn’t a suggestion that some women who were harassed had it coming because they worked at Fox or for Ailes.”
Box office receipts for this movie are immaterial to me but I certainly hope that this isn't a suggestion that some women who were harassed had it coming because they worked at Fox or for Ailes. Sexual harassment knows no political ideology. — Signed, a lifelong Democrat. https://t.co/VIEWTbW17v
— Julie Roginsky (@julieroginsky) January 2, 2020
Hill responded to Roginsky by noting that that’s not what she was saying. “However, I can’t help but note how at ease they seemed within a culture that also was horribly racist,” she added.
I wasn’t saying that at all. However, I can’t help but note how at ease they seemed within a culture that also was horribly racist. https://t.co/LxOkoV1kjM
— Jemele Hill (@jemelehill) January 2, 2020
Actress Reagan Gomez-Preston, on the other hand, joined Hill, critiquing the film for its lack of diversity by asking, “Who was this film made for?”
Who was this film for? Surely not BW/WOC who’ve heard these wmn be just as racist & misogynistic as the men. The 53% of WW who voted for 45 & don’t care? WM aren’t seeing this film. So who exactly was this film for? https://t.co/F1RP0zczfk
— Reagan Gomez (@ReaganGomez) January 2, 2020
Despite a lackluster first couple of weeks at the box office, “Bombshell” has attracted awards attention and could go on to rally Oscar nominations, especially in acting categories. Theron and Robbie scored Golden Globe nominations, Theron for best actress in a drama motion picture and Robbie for supporting actress. Both actresses and Kidman are nominated for Screen Actors Guild Awards, and the film is nominated for outstanding performance by a cast in a motion picture.