Mrs. America

  • Post category:Television
  • Post last modified:September 22, 2020
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A miniseries dedicated to the struggle to have the Equal Rights Amendment added to the Constitution and the era when its proponents came closest to achieving it. Introducing vivid portraits of the feminist movement’s biggest names in the 1970s, this riveting story also shows us how the future conservative icon Phyllis Schlafly built a grassroots movement that defeated the ERA and helped usher in Reagan’s right-wing revolution. Fans of her won’t like how she’s depicted here (a brilliant Cate Blanchett looks more like she’s echoing Thatcher than Schlafly), but the miniseries makes a clever point of the inconsistencies in her life. 

2020-U.S. Made for TV. 421 min. Color. Created by Dahvi Waller. Cast: Cate Blanchett (Phyllis Schlafly), Rose Byrne (Gloria Steinem), Uzo Aduba (Shirley Chisholm), Elizabeth Banks, Kayli Carter, Ari Graynor… Margo Martindale, John Slattery, Jeanne Tripplehorn, Tracey Ullman, Sarah Paulson, James Marsden, Adam Brody, Bobby Cannavale.

Trivia: Originally shown in nine episodes. Among the directors are Anna Boden and Ryan Fleck. 

Emmy: Outstanding Supporting Actress (Aduba).

Last word: “What we’re trying to say with the series is that when you are complicit in the oppression of women, it doesn’t ultimately help you when you align yourself with the patriarchy. [If you’re] protecting white male patriarchy and you’re a woman, ultimately you also lose. If Phyllis Schlafly were a man, and this series was about a male right-wing grassroots organizer who helped get Reagan to sweep into the White House, I believe he would have been rewarded. Not only was Phyllis not given an appointment in the White House, but the reason for why she was not given an appointment in his administration is because she was considered too polarizing.” (Waller, The Hollywood Reporter)

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