‘She Said’ highlights harassment in Hollywood

She Said is a film based on a book with the same name, starring Carey Mulligan and Zoe Kazan.

Abby Bleau

“She Said” is a film based on a book with the same name, starring Carey Mulligan and Zoe Kazan.

On Oct. 5, 2017, Jodi Kantor and Megan Twohey published an article in the New York Times exposing movie producer, Harvey Weinstein’s, maltreatment of women in Hollywood and the workplace. This article, as well as other factors, sparked the #MeToo movement across the world. In addition to the success of the article, the journalists released “She Said,” in both a book and movie form to share the journalist’s story in breaking the Harvey Weinstein case.

The Pulitzer Prize winning biography, “She Said” was released in 2019, and it unravels the story of two journalists, Megan Twohey and Jodi Kantor, and their journey of exposing movie producer Harvey Weinstein’s mistreatment towards women in the workplace. The book, however, detours to look into two similar, but separate, sexual allegation stories of Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh and former U.S President Donald J. Trump.

The movie, released on Nov. 18, 2022, fully covers the story of Harvey Weinstein but leaves out the entire story of Brett Kavanaugh, and loosely touches on the Donald Trump story as well. The movie, unlike the book, focuses less on the actual Harvey Weinstein story and more on the two journalists’ struggles in uncovering the story and even looks more clearly into their lives.

The Brett Kavanaugh aspect of the book had zero tie-ins to the Harvey Weinstein allegations and felt like an entirely different story while reading it. Leaving out the Brett Kavanaugh story in the film may sound like it would take away from the overall message, but really having this story in the book took away from the journalist’s journey.

The book left a lot of room for interpretation on how many famous celebrities appeared in their everyday clothes when all the reader has to imagine are pictures of the celebrities at work or on the red carpet. The movie allowed the viewers to see famous celebrities in an often, unordinary environment for them, with their children for example, which made them seem more down-to-earth. The effect of this has a greater impact on the viewer’s understanding that sexual assault could happen to anyone, not just models and celebrities.

The director of the film, Maria Schaer, made many interesting choices that were difficult in translating the book into a movie. All of the celebrities, except Ashley Judd, are played by an actress rather than playing themselves. Most surprisingly two of the biggest names, Harvey Weinstein and Gwyneth Paltrow, were seen very little, if at all, in either an actor form or playing themselves.

For those who didn’t read the article and the book, the movie successfully creates another outlet for people to acknowledge that sexualization exists in the workplace, and learn that it is not something that should be merely accepted in today’s society.