When the creators and stars of the new Amazon series “Good Girls Revolt” set out to work on their series about women employees at News of the Week in the ’60s and ’70s, they knew they were making a topical piece.
Discrimination in the workplace and the attendant gender inequities remain serious problems today, after all.
But they could not have predicted the extent of the Donald Trump phenomenon and the degree to which the controversial real estate mogul’s presidential campaign would draw these issues to the fore.
“We had no idea how horrifically relevant this show was going to be when we made the pilot,” said Erin Darke in a recent conversation with amNewYork. Darke plays Cindy, a researcher at the newsmagazine.
“We need this right now,” added Anna Camp, who plays Jane, a prim, pearl-wearing researcher who’s slow to warm to the idea of being a “career girl” and reluctant to rock the status quo. Camp admitted she found the show “sadly relevant” before the presidential campaign dragged sexism and misogyny into the spotlight.
She said the beauty of the show is the way in which the women’s liberation movement is personalized. “One of the reasons I loved this script so much was that, when someone says ‘1970’s feminist,’ I do picture some incredibly strong-willed, bra-burning woman who was out there fighting. I think it was such a beautiful reminder to me that many of the changes that happened were [brought about by everyday] women.
“The more I researched that period, the more I realized how similar it is to right now. You can just feel our country needing to change and groaning and creaking at the seams, but not quite knowing where it’s going yet,” Camp added.
The subject matter’s familiarity rings similarly true for Joy Bryant, who plays Eleanor Holmes Norton, the attorney who represents the women in the show (which is based on a real lawsuit brought about by the female staff at Newsweek). Real-life Norton went on to serve as the first female chair of the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and today serves as a Congresswoman. “I think about the absurdity of how we’re still talking about these issues,” Bryant said.
Genevieve Angelson, who plays Patti, the leader of the newsroom women in their equality bid, receives so many comments on the timing of the show, but said if it weren’t for the likes of Trump, someone or something else would highlight the subject matter’s relevance — because it’s the simple reality of the times we live in. “It’s not an accident,” she says. “It’s not a coincidence.”