Filming She Said continues in New York with Zoe Kazan seen playing the role of Jodi Kantor the investigative reporter who, along with journalist Meghan Twohey helped bring Harvey Weinstein down, sparking the #metoo movement. They wrote about it in their best selling book She Said.
Zoe Kazan may want to keep her calendar open because she may be called upon to recreate this character. Today, Jodi Kantor is busy writing about Andrew Cuomo’s forced resignation and the falling dominos that precipitated it. Cuomo was a man with a scorched earth policy. He was going to fight until the end. But then he didn’t. It wasn’t the sexual harassment accusers who caused him to step down. It was the relentless reporting by Jodi Kantor, Ronan Farrow and other prominent New York journalists. Without the pressure from them, Cuomo may have gotten away with his insistence that his victims’ perceptions were the result of a cultural misunderstanding.
I never quite understood what Cuomo meant by cultural differences anyway. Yes, he’s Italian, but he’s not first generation. He grew up in New York. He knows what’s normal and acceptable. He’d have the world thinking that he’s being accused of abuse of power because no one understands that “Ciao, Bella” is a common expression. Kantor’s work revealed that it wasn’t a verbal misunderstanding that caused Cuomo’s subordinates to feel intimidated and oppressed. She Said chronicles how Kantor and Twohey did the same thing with Weinstein.
The movie, set for release in November 2022, won’t focus on Weinstein and his predatory conduct towards those he sexually harassed. Proving that sexual harassers are motivated more by power than lust, the movie will concentrate on the intimidation and threats Kantor and Twohey received while investigating the story. Weinstein tried to use his influence and allies to get their work quashed.
As Twohey and Kantor pursued the story, despite the roadblocks, several women came forward to relate long-hidden experiences with sexual abuse by powerful men in the workplace, including the entertainment industry, giving birth to the #Metoo movement.
Twohey and Kantor first published a story on the sexual abuse allegations against Weinstein in 2017 writing for the New York Times. The pair, along with Ronan Farrow, won the Pulitzer Prize for public service for their investigation. As more women came forward, some of them prominent, famous Hollywood players were exposed as abusers. Twohey and Kantor then interviewed more women and published the non-fiction book She Said in 2019, detailing their investigation, which was not unlike Woodward and Bernstein’s famous Watergate expose.
Kantor and Twohey also wrote the screenplay for the film, along with Rebecca Lenkiewicz. The executive producers are Megan Ellison and Sue Naegle. The director is Maria Schrader. Thus, this project follows a growing trend where it’s not just gender equality in front of the camera, but behind the camera as well. Not that there aren’t men on board. Brad Pitt, is one of the producers. But women are well-represented as decision-makers behind a movie which documents how powerless women have been in Hollywood and the small, but increasingly steady steps that are igniting change.
Patricia Clarkson, Andre Braugher, George Walsh and Brad Neilley round out the cast.
Kazan is seen on the set with director Maria Schrader.