For many years Fox News has provided America with a twisted, often controversial and evangelical right wing voice. Therefore, it is somewhat surprising that one of best known cases of the early #MeToo movement, came from the heart of Murdoch’s right wing news operation. Focussing on the abuse of corporate power, and the misogyny of a CEO (Roger Ailes) who wielded that power without a moral compass. However, wider than just the story of one mans loathsome and power hungry behaviour. Bombshell offers us a far more nuanced exploration of the news room culture both Alies and Murdoch created. One that also plays to the scandals behind Murdochs news empire here in the UK.
And while the focus of director Jay Roach remains the courageous lawsuit of Fox News presenter Gretchen Carlson. There are also wider themes at play in exploring the corporate culture of Fox News. Including the support it offered to Trump in his presidential campaign. And the wider inequalities of a workplace culture that thrived on division and segregation.
Bombshell is not the first adaptation of the Alies story. With the disappointing TV drama The Loudest Voice with Naomi Watts and Russell Crowe premiering in September 2019. However, with Roach’s film we are offered a far more nuanced discussion on the cultural atmosphere of Fox News. One that not only allowed sexual harassment to thrive and become openly accepted. But also embraced a workplace culture of fear, ensuring staff were subject to control. However, in trying to widen the discussion Roach and writer Charles Randolph get somewhat lost in the confused culture of Fox News and its staff.
Director: Jay Roach