Fighting for Women in the Newsroom on ‘Good Girls Revolt’
“You’re pretty cute when you got a scoop,” star reporter Sam Rosenberg tells researcher Jane Hollander as he squeezes her waist, in the pilot of Good Girls Revolt, a 10-episode Amazon series that chronicles the true story of the first women’s class action suit in the United States. The series, which premiers on October 28, is based on Jewish journalist Lynn Povich’s 2012 book, The Good Girls Revolt: How the Women of Newsweek Sued their Bosses and Changed the Workplace.
Set in 1969, Good Girls Revolt depicts the female journalists’ fight for fair treatment at the start of the women’s liberation movement and immediately stokes viewer’s ire: Editors and reporters at the fictitious News of the Week magazine address the research “girls” as “honey,” “dear” and “sweetheart” and ask them to make coffee. Men’s bylines are put on women’s copy. One of the pilot’s most wrenching scenes depicts newlywed Cindy Reston discovering that her husband had made a hole in her diaphragm in order to make her pregnant and force her to quit work and abandon her “fanciful” dream of becoming a novelist.
Jewish characters and themes run throughout the series. Nora Ephron, played by Grace Gummer, joins the magazine but almost immediately quits because the boss won’t publish women’s writing under their own names. She invites coworker Patti Robinson (Genevieve Angelson) to a women’s “consciousness raising” meeting, at which Shira from the Women’s Health Collective teaches the group about the female orgasm.
Later in the series, Jane Hollander, played by Anna Camp, has to listen to her upper-crust parents tell her to find work at “a less Jewish magazine.” But she has become attracted to the Jewish Sam, portrayed by Daniel Eric Gold, who garners her sympathy when he reveals the atrocities his family suffered in the Holocaust.