If you’ve got family members who sit on opposite sides of the political aisle, Bombshell will likely make for some awkward holiday viewing. A skewering take on Fox News, specifically the sexual harassment allegations surrounding former CEO Roger Ailes, the film asserts that the network’s producers find their partisan stories by determining what will scare their grandma or piss off their grandpa. But star and producer Charlize Theron isn’t quite on an anti-right mission; aside from spotlighting Fox News, the film’s real objective is to take down sexual harassment and misogyny in the workplace. Theron even has friends who watch Fox News, and they manage to see eye to eye with her in their views on the Trump administration.
“I do have people in my life who watch Fox. I have Republican friends!,” Theron told Vulture at Bombshell’s New York premiere Monday night. “I think that we’re living in interesting times, where it’s not black-and-white, and I love my Republican friends because they all take major issue with this administration and its lack of empathy. So I have mad love for Republicans.”
She’s not alone in that. Director Jay Roach said that Bombshell had him going down the Fox News rabbit hole, and he continues to watch it today “to just try to be able to converse with [my relatives] about some of the things that we argue about so much.” Screenwriter Charles Randolph, a Tennessee native, will be taking his Fox News–watching parents to see the film over Christmas. Both Roach and Randolph expressed that, by highlighting the women at Fox News who were victims of sexual harassment, they hope safety in the workplace and gender equality can become nonpartisan issues.
“This particular issue transcends politics, transcends the kind of tribalism that Fox sometimes is the biggest advocate for,” Roach said. “I hope getting past prejudices is what opens people’s minds, whichever side of the aisle you might be on politically, and see that, Oh wow, this is something that we can actually agree on. We don’t have to fight about this: Women should be safe at work. That’s not something that we can really healthily disagree on.”