Jemele Hill Celebrates Bombshell Box Office Demise: ‘Fox News Is A Destructive, Despicable Force’
The Atlantic’s Jemele Hill was among those who celebrated the poor box office performance of the film Bombshell, which portrays the sexual misconduct scandal that brought down former Fox News CEO Roger Ailes.
The Lionsgate Films release debuted in ninth place at the box office this past weekend, earning $4.8 in its second weekend, placing it one slot behind the second weekend of Cats. The film stars Nicole Kidman as Gretchen Carlson, who filed suit against Ailes in 2016, and Charlize Theron as Megyn Kelly, who left Fox News for NBC in 2017, only to be fired for wondering what the big deal is with blackface. Margot Robbie stars as a fictional Fox News producer named Kayla Pospisil.
Former Mediaite-er Joe Concha wrote a column for The Hill explaining why he thought the film bombed, which prompted reaction from another Hill — Jemele. The Atlantic writer rose to national fame when she called President Donald Trump a white supremacist, which prompted the White House to call for her firing from then-employer ESPN.
Jemele Hill retweeted Concha’s article, and wrote “I wouldn’t see this movie if the fate of humanity depended on it,” adding “Pains me to say that because I love the three lead actresses.”
“Fox News is a destructive, despicable force. Did they ever consider that the reputation of the network and Roger Ailes was too toxic?” Hill wrote.
I wouldn’t see this movie if the fate of humanity depended on it. Pains me to say that because I love the three lead actresses. Fox News is a destructive, despicable force. Did they ever consider that the reputation of the network and Roger Ailes was too toxic? https://t.co/chYQ6K3lSo
— Jemele Hill (@jemelehill) January 2, 2020
While Bombshell is clearly not a pro-Fox News film, Ms. Hill appears to be arguing that the subject matter itself is distasteful enough that moviegoers would rather see humanity perish than sit through an entire movie devoted to it, even a negative one.
Actress Reagan Gomez also opined that women of color might not be interested in a film that features heroines like Kelly and Carlson, writing “Who was this film for? Surely not BW/WOC who’ve heard these wmn be just as racist & misogynistic as the men. The 53% of WW who voted for 45 & don’t care? WM aren’t seeing this film. So who exactly was this film for?”
Who was this film for? Surely not BW/WOC who’ve heard these wmn be just as racist & misogynistic as the men. The 53% of WW who voted for 45 & don’t care? WM aren’t seeing this film. So who exactly was this film for? https://t.co/F1RP0zczfk
— Reagan Gomez (@ReaganGomez) January 2, 2020
But Concha — a frequent Fox News guest — had another theory, citing the failure of several other Ailes-related projects, and arguing that the message and the messenger are too “polarizing”:
As we all know, the media in general is not very well liked in this polarized country these days. Morning Consult found that news outlets comprise 12 of the 15 most politically polarizing brands in the country out of more than 3,700 brands that the company tracks daily.
So it’s no shock when another polarizing entity – Hollywood – decides to put major money and resources into the same media story in Ailes, few people even raise an eyebrow at the prospect of actually watching it.
The film also received mixed reviews, as Concha notes, achieving a 67 percent score on Rotten Tomatoes. Although the audience score was a much better 83 percent, a film with a prestige cast that doesn’t begin with the word “Avengers:” is much more dependent on critical success.
Watch the trailer for Bombshell above via Movieclips.
Have a tip we should know? [email protected]