Former Fox News anchor Gretchen Carlson revealed in an interview with Entertainment Weekly that she is frustrated she can’t be involved with the upcoming movie about the company’s sexual misconduct scandal because of her settlement agreement with the network.
“Bombshell,” which is set for release at the end of the year, chronicles the experiences of women at Fox News when Roger Ailes was its chairman and CEO. Nicole Kidman stars as Carlson and Charlize Theron as Megyn Kelly, both of whom accused Ailes of sexual harassment. Margot Robbie also stars as a female producer, a fictional composite character, representing multiple other women who were harassed by Ailes, who resigned in July 2016 and died about a year later.
In her conversation with Entertainment Weekly, Carlson spoke about how she felt after viewing the trailer for the film, which shows a tense elevator ride shared by the three women at Fox News.
“It’s frustrating ’cause I can say, ‘Hey, wait a minute, you know, that was my life!’ But the trailer got a tremendous amount of attention, and for me, that’s what this is all about,” she said.
“It’s a strange and frustrating reality that I can’t partake in any of these projects based on my settlement.”
In 2016, Carlson was the first of several women at the network to come forward with sexual misconduct allegations against Ailes, who was forced to leave the company as a result. In the lead-up to the eruption of the #MeToo movement in 2017, Carlson was one of the most famous women who had come out against a powerful harasser and won. She was given a formal apology from the network and a $20 million settlement.
Carlson has worked on a number of projects and initiatives for women facing similar circumstances, including her recent work on Capitol Hill stumping for a bill that would end forced arbitration in sexual harassment cases.
“I’m trying to pass the bill to take the muzzle off of women who face harassment in the workplace so that they’re not forced into signing [nondisclosure agreements] and have to go to the secret chamber of arbitration where nobody ever knows what the hell happened to them,” she told Entertainment Weekly.
Though she was disappointed she couldn’t participate in the “Bombshell” project, Carlson said she was glad it enabled continued dialogue about the issue.
“And, most importantly, if it gives courage to men and women who are facing these kinds of situations to come forward, then that’s the extra bonus,” she said.
This summer, her story was also told by the Showtime series “The Loudest Voice,” in which she was portrayed by Naomi Watts. Carlson said it felt “surreal” to see “Naomi and Nicole” playing her.
“I really feel like nobody would have done these movies three years ago when I jumped off the cliff all by myself in July of 2016.”
In a July interview with HuffPost, Carlson said that watching “The Loudest Voice” had been an incredibly emotional experience.
“Bombshell” is set to open Dec. 20. Watch the trailer above.