A group of women decide to take on Fox News head Roger Ailes and the toxic atmosphere he presided over at the network.
Based on actual events, Bombshell chronicles the circumstances leading up to and following the sexual harassment lawsuit against former Fox News CEO Roger Ailes (John Lithgow). The movie centers on Megyn Kelly (Charlize Theron) while she anchored at Fox News. It focuses on Kelly’s corporate climb within Fox News and the backlash she received surrounding her questioning of Donald Trump during the 2015 Republican Party presidential debate regarding his denigrating comments toward women. At the time, Kelly had a strong viewership during her news program on Fox and had a lot of clout at the network.
Bombshell also focuses on Kayla Pospisil (Margot Robbie), a fictional character, based on a mix of various employees, who is just beginning her career at Fox News and is eager to climb the corporate ladder to success. Pospisil arranges a private meeting with Ailes to help boost her career. During that meeting, Pospisil is asked to hike up her dress so Ailes can see her legs, stating that “legs get high ratings.” She shows in her body language how uncomfortable the situation makes her. Ailes comments that certain privileges are given to those who show loyalty. She is later called to return for more private meetings with Ailes. She eventually confesses to a coworker that she gave into his advances and performed sexual favors to help earn her place at Fox News.
During that time Gretchen Carlson (Nicole Kidman) files a sexual harassment lawsuit against Ailes. She filed the lawsuit shortly after her contract expired at Fox News. She is sure other women will come forward to support her claims. In the months that followed, dozens of former employees of Fox News stepped forward to accuse Ailes of sexual harassment. However, no current employees at Fox News would join the claims until Kelly later told investigators that Ailes made “unwanted sexual advances toward her” at the start of her career. This report led to Ailes’ resignation from Fox News.
Bombshell presents a glimpse at the environment at Fox News during the Ailes sexual harassment controversy. It demonstrates how one man’s empowerment can wrongly affect the lives of young achievers. Also worth noting is Theron’s portrayal of Kelly, which is so spot-on that she deserves an Oscar. The movie sheds some light on the unwarranted events that occurred at Fox News and focuses mainly on the positive outcome as a result of the women who came forward. The film brings a controversial issue to the forefront and centers on the positive decision, but due to excessive language and sexual material, it is Not Dove-approved.