The girls are fighting back.
Although Amazon’s new series Good Girls Revolt is a period piece set in 1969, the theme of fighting sexism could not be more timely more than 40 years later. The show, starring Genevieve Angelson, Anna Camp, Erin Darke, Chris Diamantopoulos, Hunter Parrish and Joy Bryant, centers on the one place that refused to change with the times in spite of a cultural revolution sweeping the free world: newsrooms. Good Girls Revolt follows a group of young female researchers at News of the Week, who ask to be treated fairly. Their revolutionary request sparks convulsive changes and upends marriages, careers, sex lives, love lives and friendships.
“The story isn’t that a lawsuit was filed, it was how it was filed,” executive producer Darlene Hunt told the room of reporters at the 2016 Summer TCA press tour. “We mapped out the drama of the lawsuit in that way. And then we had to figure out what else the show is about.”
According to executive producer Dana Calvo, the timeline focuses on the process of filing the lawsuit itself.
“We just wrapped the finale which ends with the morning that they announce they’ve filed the complaint,” Calvo said. “We have stories to take us into seasons two and three and, god-willing, on.”
Camp, who just came off a wildly-successful run on Mad Men, reveals that in terms of the time period, Good Girls Revolt picks up right where Mad Men left off.
“At the end of the last season of Mad Men, Joan was off starting her own company and I feel like our show does pick up right on that,” Camp said. “What happens to the women who have to come forward and take on their rights? It feels very organic [for me].”
While one reporter pointed out to the cast that watching a series set in the late ’60s makes her feel like she should feel “lucky” to live in modern times because of how far women’s rights and equality have come, sexism still runs rampant and the gender pay gap and sexual harassment in the workplace is still all too real. But Darke disagreed, adding that her time on Good Girls Revolt actually inspired her to “fight back.”
“One of the biggest progressions is now there is a language for it,” Darke said. “Now a woman can stand up and say that I was sexually harassed by my boss and people understand that. What was shocking to me is that there wasn’t even a language for it [back then]. You didn’t know how to communicate that to another woman much less men. These women become feminists. I still feel like I’m learning that sometimes.”
She continued, “Working on this show has made me realize that as a woman, it’s okay to feel angry again. Sometimes in my generation there’s a complacency because we do know how far we’ve come. But so many women have fought for our rights and where we are today, so it’s time to fight again.”
Her co-star Angelson agreed, adding, “Something that [executive producer] Lynda [Obst] told me on set, ‘you can’t be a feminist before feminism.’ That took the burden off me from a storytelling point of view. I don’t have to be a poster girl for this issue. I can just react in an honest way.”
As for the male characters on the show, both Diamantopoulos and Parrish, as well as their female co-stars, emphasized that viewers shouldn’t view the sexist comments and actions of some of the males as “dick-ish.”
“They didn’t know they were sexist at the time,” Diamantopoulos said. “There wasn’t a self-awareness. They were behaving the way society condoned them to behave and the path that was laid out.”
Parrish added, “We’re not meant to be there as the chauvinistic dicks. These were men of the time. This was their upbringing and a product of their environment. You see that evolve throughout the season.”
And ending the panel on a high note, Diamantopoulos dropped the mic with: “It’s a sliding scale of dick.”
Don’t miss our take on equality in the 1960s, with Girl NASA![brightcove video_id=”4782108393001″ brightcove_account_id=”3653334524001″ brightcove_player_id=”2bfa565b-5412-4cfd-9211-6269880b8a5e”]
Good Girls Revolt premieres Oct. 28 on Amazon Prime Video.