Variety reported on Friday that The Big Short screenwriter Charles Randolph pitched a film about Ailes’s long-running and frequent tenure as an employed alleged sexual harasser and it was scooped up by Annapurna Pictures, which made 20th Century Women and Joy, among others. Because the actual tale has such a clear villain and intersects with Fox’s role in the unmaking of truth in reporting, Randolph’s not the only person adapting this; Variety notes that a television project is in the works, as well, based on the dogged, incisive reporting of New York’s Gabriel Sherman.
On one hand, I really wish a damn woman were writing this. On the other, The Big Short was a pretty interesting movie, if overly twee about the expository way it chose to explain complex stock market concepts—but hopefully Randolph’s dramatization of Roger Ailes and Fox News’s extensive sexual harassment scandal won’t feel the need to drop in Margot Robbie in a freaking bathtub explaining Title VII. (Five bucks, though, says Robbie’s on the shortlist to play Megyn Kelly.)
My main hope with these projects is that they don’t overly sensationalize or make “sexy” the topic at hand; The Big Short was mostly great at depicting the nuances of the 2008 financial crisis, but it also seemed to transform some of the key players into ambiguous heroes. Even in 2016, people don’t necessarily seem to comprehend some of the sharper vagaries of sexual harassment—though the power dynamics in this case are pretty cut-and-dry—so a film like this comes with added baggage. Randolph also wrote Love and Other Drugs, a film I loved despite myself, so I guess the main thing that can go wrong here is the casting. That said, by the time this shit gets made, who’s to say there will even be a non-governmentally-controlled film industry! A LITTLE GALLOWS HUMOR FOR THOSE OF US WHO REMEMBER JOE MCCARTHY AMIRITE!