How ‘Kimmy Schmidt’ chose to tackle sexual harassment

Warning: “Kimmy Schmidt” season 4 spoilers ahead.

“Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt” responded to the #MeToo movement in a way that’s, well, so “Kimmy Schmidt.” The return of the fourth and final season paints the unworldly Kimmy (Ellie Kemper) as the accused — not the accuser.

“I think it’s a very clever way of covering sexual harassment in the workplace, #MeToo and Time’s Up through the eyes of Kimmy, which is probably not the character you’d think it would happen through,” says Jane Krakowski, who plays Kimmy’s on-again, off-again friend Jacqueline. “She doesn’t realize what she’s doing and that’s where the comedy can ensue.”

A scene in the first episode sets the tone for #MeToo-inspired discussion to weave its way into the season by way of the series’ one-line humor. Kimmy, now a boss of sorts at the fictional tech company Giztoob, tries to comfort a male employee who’s getting the boot by giving him a back rub and dropping her pants to level the embarrassment playing field. T>

The employee quickly files a sexual harassment complaint against Kimmy, allowing creators Tina Fey and Robert Carlock to throw effortless jabs at those who have been accused of misconduct.

“It’s not like I’m a Weinstein or a Spacey or the president,” a confused Kimmy tells Titus, played by Tituss Burgess. He replies: “There’s a reckoning going on, and it’s important. And as overdue as the library book I’ve been using as abs . . . This is not about you, girl, this is about your co-workers and how they feel.”

It’s important to remember Kimmy, herself is a victim of sexual abuse who spent 15 years locked in a bunker. The series has followed her journey to recovery with depictions of PTSD.

Despite her past experiences, “Kimmy is so earnest and well-meaning in her intentions,” Kemper says. “By trying not to embarrass her fellow employees, she ends up being called in for sexual harassment. I think she learned a lot about boundaries with that experience.”

Kimmy’s co-workers (Note: They’re all male) and her boss rally together to confront her with an HR report, leaving just a blemish on her professional record.

“Kimmy’s a fighter,” Kemper notes. “I think that she will reflect on any missteps and figure out how to do better next time.”

Though the script is timely, it’s not the first time “Unbreakable” has delved into the topic. Kimmy’s roommate Titus, who serves as the voice of reason to help Kimmy understand the severity of the harassment report, experienced sexual harassment while auditioning for a New York television producer.

The writing team has stayed true to its efforts to capture the zeitgeist over the years, making political and cultural references to the presidency, global warming, gender roles and other series like “30 Rock” and “Mad Men.”

“I do think it’s really fun to see our crazy characters of this world mention or do commentary or live in a world where things are happening in the real world,” Krakowski says.

She adds: “What I think is interesting about each season of ‘Kimmy Schmidt’ is because we’re on a Netflix format — they film all 13 at once and then they air a few months later all in one go — there have been some major topics that have happened in the world that I wish the world of ‘Kimmy’ could have explored more, but we weren’t filming at the time.”

The first half of the fourth season (six episodes) is now streaming on Netflix. A release date for the second part has not yet been announced, though the series finale will likely wrap next year with a movie.

“I am so sad!” Kemper says, acknowledging the series’ end. “We are leaving Kimmy in a wonderful place, but of course I am still sad to say goodbye to this uplifting, inspiring, badass girl in pink pants. Robert and Tina created a dazzling heroine.”