Reactions to Bombshell, a new movie about the sexual harassment lawsuit that brought down Fox News exec Roger Ailes, offer a rare opportunity to see both political correctness and patriotic correctness—the first term’s right-wing mirror image—at work at the same time.
For many progressives, the film’s sympathetic portrayal of former anchors Megyn Kelly and Gretchen Carlson—two outspoken Republicans—is necessarily at odds with the #MeToo movement’s pieties. Many conservatives, meanwhile, appear to view as traitorous anything that casts aspersions on their cable news channel of choice. As a result, the film is likely to get less credit, overall, than it deserves on the merits.
In fact, Bombshell is a fun, feel-good flick. The crusade it depicts is self-evidently righteous, the script is snappy, and stars Charlize Theron (as Kelly), Nicole Kidman (as Carlson), and Margot Robbie (as a composite character who falls prey, excruciatingly, to John Lithgow’s nauseating Ailes) put on master classes in character acting. Alas, this story about strong conservative women asserting themselves vis-à-vis powerful men does not fit neatly into either P.C. box.