Good Girls Revolt: Amazon New Drama Series, Set in 1969-1970

Amazon’s drama series, Good Girls Revolt takes place in a 1960s newsroom,  where a group of female researchers make the unheard request to be allowed to write, since only men were hired in writing positions.

Forty years later, women are still facing plenty of obstacles in the workplace–the Fox News scandal, with women claiming to have been sexually harassed by CEO Roger Ailes— the main difference is that now, it’s more acceptable to talk about it.

“I think one of the progressions is that there’s now a language for it, a woman can stand up and say ‘I was sexually harassed by my boss,’” said cast member Erin Darke. “These things would happen to these women, you knew that you felt violated or belittled, but you didn’t know how to communicate that to another woman, let alone men.”

The series is based upon Lynn Povich’s book, a true account of a group of researchers who sued Newsweek for sex discrimination–the first women in media to sue and the first female class action suit.

“It’s about this lawsuit, but it’s really about these women learning to become feminists and what that means for them,” Darke noted. “I still feel like I’m learning that sometimes even as a woman in 2016 — the things you realize later you put up with because you think you should.”

Star Genevieve Angelson admitted that she initially struggled with tackling the realities of what women had to deal with in the workplace at the time, before she realized, “I don’t have to necessarily make an effort to be the poster girl for this issue, I just have to react the way I’d react in these circumstances.”

The show is set in 1969 and 1970, drawing comparisons to another period drama that often dealt with the professional gender divide. “It’s definitely picking up where ‘Mad Men’ leaves off,” Anna Camp said.  By the end of that series, Christina Hendricks’ Joan was just starting her own company and embarking on a journey of self-actualization. “I think our show does pick up right on that, what happens to the women who come forward and have to assert their rights?”

The series is based on Povich’s real experiences and a real court case, but most of the characters are fictionalized to allow the real participants their privacy — except for Joy Bryant’s Eleanor Holmes Norton, who represented the women in their class action lawsuit, and Grace Gummer’s Nora Ephron. Bryant has been in contact with Congresswoman Norton many times since being cast–“she is absolutely extraordinary, and I felt tremendous responsibility to her to do right by her.”

Executive producer Dana Calvo said, “we have stories to take us through Season 2, 3 and, god willing, 21.” While the story is tied to the lawsuit and its outcome, “it’s more about how it worked to change and galvanize these women.”

It was also important to the producers that the journalism portrayed in the show was realistic, which was also a concern of Povich’s in allowing her book to be adapted. EPs Lynda Obst and Calvo are both former journalists, and Calvo insisted that the show wouldn’t involve any “shoddy journalism.”