By Claire Booth
There once was a show on Amazon called “Good Girls Revolt.” It’s a scripted series set in 1969 and 1970 that tells the story of several female researchers at “News of the Week” magazine who endured sexual harassment and discrimination in the workplace. It’s won plaudits, stellar reviews and a devoted following. It was not renewed for a second season.
There once was a head of Amazon Studios named Roy Price. He resigned earlier this month after being accused of the sexual harassment of one of the executive producers of an Amazon show and crude talk at work-associated events, according to the Hollywood Reporter. He was the one who made the decision not to continue with “Good Girls Revolt.” (You see where I’m going with this, don’t you?) When the show’s creator went to Price late last year to pitch a second season, he didn’t even know the characters’ names. She told The New York Times she believes that’s because he never even watched it. Feel free to conclude for yourself why the head of a studio wouldn’t bother to watch one of his own shows.
This is particularly infuriating because there once was a lawsuit filed by 46 women at Newsweek magazine. The 1970 lawsuit alleged that one of America’s top newsrooms discriminated against women in hiring and promotion. Women – “girls” back then – were relegated to roles as researchers or sometimes promoted to reporters. They were rarely made writers and were never able to climb the career ladder to jobs as editors, the highest positions at the news magazine. These 46 were the first women in the media to sue and became the first class action lawsuit.
One of those women was Lynn Povich. It is her amazing book, THE GOOD GIRLS REVOLT, upon which the Amazon series is based.
Fans of the TV show protested late last year when it wasn’t renewed. But now that Price’s alleged harassment is out in the open, the show’s stars are leading a much bigger, um, revolt.
“It was just so meta, or twisted, when we found out Roy Price had been accused of sexual harassment,” Anna Camp, who plays researcher Jane Hollander, told The New York Times. “So many frustrated fans were reaching out and saying, ‘Now that he’s gone, maybe the show could come back.’ ”
The stars as well as numerous female journalists are also saying loud and clear that with all that’s going on right now – women finding the courage to come forward with stories of sexual harassment and assault by men who held professional power over them – a series like “Good Girls Revolt” has never been more timely.
So here in my little corner of the world, I’m going to do everything I can to try to bring back a show that takes place almost 50 years ago, but says a whole lot about the world today. It shouldn’t be one man, who resigned his job in the face of a sexual harassment allegation, who gets to decide whether a show about the pervasiveness of sexual harassment continues to air.
If you’re interested, you can sign the petition at Change.org. Or tweet to @AmazonStudios with the hashtag, #SaveGoodGirlsRevolt.
Full disclosure: In my other life as a journalist, I belong to an organization called Journalism and Women’s Symposium, which works toward equality and support of women in the field. Lynn Povich is also a member.