‘The Morning Show’: How the #MeToo Movement Led to Big Changes on Apple’s Flagship Drama
Since it was first announced in November 2017, many rumors have popped up about “The Morning Show.” The Jennifer Aniston- and Reese Witherspoon-starring drama would be a family-friendly look at morning talk shows. It would steer away from topical, controversial content. It would only be available to people with Apple devices.
None of this is true, and as we approach its November 1 release date, the curtain over the biggest Apple TV+ series in the inaugural lineup is slowly being drawn back. During a press conference Sunday afternoon [13th October] — fittingly held at a Hollywood hotel that hasn’t even opened yet — Aniston and Witherspoon joined co-star Steve Carell and producers Kerry Ehrin, Michael Ellenberg, and director Mimi Leder to discuss the series’ veiled development.
Speaking to the show’s mature and timely content — which is very much a part of the hourlong drama — the group addressed how the #MeToo movement affected their story.
“The show existed before #MeToo happened,” Aniston said. “The show was always going to be pulling a curtain [back] on the New York media world and the morning talk shows. [But] once #MeToo happened, the conversation drastically changed and we just incorporated it [into the show.]”
When it earned a two-season, direct-to-series order from Apple in late 2017, “The Morning Show” was developed under writer and executive producer Jay Carson. But the #MeToo movement picked up steam shortly thereafter, and Apple soon signed Ehrin to an overall deal and hired her as the series’ new showrunner. Carson reportedly left amicably due to creative differences.
“We all sat and thought about what the tone would be,” Aniston said. “We wanted it to be raw, honest, vulnerable, and messy — and not black-and-white, obviously. As we were all stumbling along trying to figure out what is this narrative and what’s happening, this show was writing itself as we went along — well, the news was helping us.”Continue reading this entry »
Reese and Jennifer Aniston promotes The Morning Show on Australian tv show Sunrise:
We spoke to Hollywood A-listers Jennifer Aniston, Reese Witherspoon and Steve Carell about teaming up for new Apple TV+ drama 'Morning Wars' 📺 pic.twitter.com/YOBMwL0OtE
— Sunrise (@sunriseon7) October 14, 2019
Meaningful Change at Last? Women Gain Ground in Hollywood
Women in Hollywood are finally starting to exhale. Two years after sexual misconduct allegations against Harvey Weinstein first broke, turbocharging the #MeToo and Time’s Up movements, there’s a growing sense among women in showbiz that meaningful change is underway — though much remains to be done before true parity is reached.
“There have been some good inroads,” says Donna Langley, chairman, Universal Filmed Entertainment Group, whose studio was the first major to sign on to USC Annenberg Inclusion Institute and Time’s Up’s 4% Challenge for female directors in January. “It’s never going to feel like it’s enough. It’s never going to be enough — this is work that is going to be ongoing.”
Langley’s views were echoed by other women surveyed by Variety for its annual Women’s Impact Report. They reported increased opportunity behind and in front of the camera.
“I think we’ve made an incredible amount of progress just by opening up the conversation,” says Reese Witherspoon. She was so frustrated about the lack of substantial roles for women that she founded Hello Sunshine, a media company dedicated to female storytelling, three years ago. She is now producing and starring in some of the projects in its pipeline, including Apple TV Plus’ “The Morning Show” opposite Jennifer Aniston.
“Female directors are working so much, and it’s enormously encouraging,” she says. What’s more, their authority is better respected on set and elsewhere. “I used to work with female directors and people would just talk over them,” but now “there’s a real consciousness to listening to women that was never here before.”
Read the full article: Variety
To promote the November premiere of The Morning Show, Reese can be seen on the cover of the new issue of Harper’s Bazaar magazine! The magazine features a brand new photoshoot themed around ‘facing your fears’, and Natalie Portman interviews Reese about The Morning Show and some of her other upcoming producing work. In the behind the scenes video, Reese talks about her favourite books, including Wild. Find all the content within this post!
Reese Witherspoon Faces Her Fears
From boldly addressing the nuances of #MeToo on her new Apple TV+ drama, The Morning Show, to canoodling with a five-foot python for BAZAAR, the 43-year-old actress and producer takes risks without even wobbling in her stilettos. Friend Natalie Portman talked to the star about how she makes it all look so easy.
NATALIE PORTMAN: Hi! I’m so happy to talk to you for Harper’s BAZAAR’s Daring issue. Was it scary to be shot with a spider on your face?
REESE WITHERSPOON: The spider didn’t scare me, but there was a snake at the photo shoot that did. This is going to sound weird, but I like insects and spiders. I was kind of a tomboy growing up. It grosses everybody out, but I like to pick up bugs.
NP: What, if anything, are you actually afraid of?
RW: I get scared of being on really tall buildings and looking down.
NP: And you did that too for your Bazaar shoot! I’m impressed. Speaking of impressed, I watched the first three episodes of The Morning Show last night. It’s wonderful!Continue reading this entry »
Reese Witherspoon’s Book Club Is Keeping Hello Sunshine on Top
Reese Witherspoon doesn’t sleep. At least that’s the consensus of her Hello Sunshine team. Since 2016, Witherspoon has been the face and founder of Hello Sunshine, an integrated media and production company focused on women, and she hasn’t taken a break since.
Through prestige dramas and high-profile ensembles (Big Little Lies, The Morning Show), Hello Sunshine has been highlighting “female authorship and agency” within all parts of storytelling around the clock. The foundation of this rapidly growing company is a community nearly a million and a half strong: Reese’s Book Club.
“She doesn’t sleep a lot, judging by the time stamps,” jokes Charlotte Koh, Hello Sunshine’s head of digital media and unscripted. Witherspoon’s Santa Monica office is filled with career memories: hiking boots from Wild, a print of Johnny and June Carter Cash, photos of herself with costars, and neat stacks of books. It makes sense that the woman known for portraying Tracy Flick and Elle Woods uses every last minute of her day.
Witherspoon is across town filming the upcoming Hulu miniseries adaptation of Celeste Ng’s Little Fires Everywhere (September 2017’s book club pick). Lauren Neustadter, Hello Sunshine’s head of film and TV, witnesses daily the actress’s commitment to reading: “If they’re changing the lighting or they’re moving the camera, you have 20 minutes. [She’ll] be like, ‘Okay, I need to knock out this manuscript. I’ve got this script. I have a book to read.’ ” Neustadter estimates that Witherspoon can take a book down in as little as 48 hours—necessary for keeping up with her community.
The book club was not something that the company started for Witherspoon; she was already doing it on her own.Continue reading this entry »
Reese Witherspoon and Jennifer Aniston’s ‘The Morning Show’ coming to Paley Center
Reese Witherspoon and Jennifer Aniston‘s highly anticipated Apple+ series “The Morning Show” will be screened at The Paley Center for Media in New York.
The screening of the premiere episode, which will be on Oct. 29, at 7 p.m., will be followed by a Q&A with Witherspoon, Aniston, director Mimi Leder and executive producers Michael Ellenberg and Kerry Ehrin.
The series shows the drama of morning news programs as told from the point of view of two women. The series also stars Steve Carell, Billy Crudup, Nestor Carbonell and Mark Duplass.
To purchase tickets to these events, please visit paleycenter.org.