By Kristine PascaulDecember 13, 2022
Originally written as non-fiction based on New York Times research that sparked the #MeToo movement, Zoe Kazan and Carey Mulligan star in the film She Said, directed by Maria Schrader.
The #MeToo movement went viral in 2017, inspiring many women to come forward about their abusers. The most prominent perpetrator, film producer Harvey Weinstein, is currently awaiting judgment in his second sexual assault trial in Los Angeles. He is already serving a 23-year sentence but could face 60 more years if convicted.
Based on real-life situations, the film follows two NYT journalists, Jodi Kantor and Megan Twohey, who are tasked with bringing down famed film producer and serial thief Weinstein over the sexual assault allegations and cases against him. These cases date back to the 1990s, when women from all over the world worked for him and experienced similar types of abuse from Weinstein.
This powerful film weaves together the lives of Kantor and Twohey, who are taxed by this case, while balancing their personal lives. Kantor struggles as she works constantly but has two young girls at home, while Twohey faces postpartum depression. These two journalists are incredibly inspirational as they work together to take down Weinstein, who should have been jailed decades ago. During the ’90s, several women attempted to speak out about what happened, but Weinstein quickly shut them down. He threatened to take their jobs away from them and ensure that they would never be employed in that field again.
Kantor and Twohey’s reporting has helped many women share their experiences with Weinstein. Initially, these survivors are afraid to come forward due to the immense money and power Weinstein possessed. These women knew there could be dire consequences if they came forward. Some women who had previously come forward explained how they were blacklisted by Hollywood and couldn’t get a job in the field because Weinstein prevented them from doing so. Many of these women were also forced to sign agreements that they would not say anything about what happened, making it difficult for Kantor and Twohey to write a story that debunked Weinstein.
This film speaks volumes about the difficulties of reporting sexual assault cases. People are quick to ask “why didn’t she say anything after it happened” instead of comforting the victim or survivor. This film teaches journalists, or anyone else, to approach survivors with caution and never blame them, but comfort them. She Said points out that men are often quick to shut up women and call them liars for speaking out about what happened to them. Money often influences someone with higher power to silence a victim. It is difficult to come forward and being silenced is extremely discouraging. After #MeToo garnered attention, many women were able to speak out about sexual assault, and hopefully this film can inspire more women to speak up for themselves.
This film emphasizes the power women journalists have and how many men in the workplace feel they are on a pedestal and should be treated as such. It’s annoying that Weinstein got away with what he’s been doing for so long, and even worse that there are more people like him out there. Kantor and Twohey are incredible women and journalists for helping so many women come forward and finally get the closure and healing they needed.
The film hit theaters on November 18th.
Cover image courtesy of Lauren Wong