To most people in Hollywood, the right side of the political spectrum is a monolith - if you dare to associate yourself with or utter a word of praise about anyone who calls himself or herself conservative, you’ve just aided President Trump in the further destruction of this country and ought to be ridiculed. It’s Left, or left out.
It turns out that actress Cate Blanchett, though she has been a critic of conservatism in the past, is (for now) not subject to such peer pressure. Lesley Goldberg of The Hollywood Reporter wrote on Oct. 20 that the two-time Oscar winner will take on the role of conservative activist Phyllis Schlafly in a new FX drama series titled Mrs. America. Schlafly is best known for arguing that the feminist-backed Equal Rights Amendment proposed in the 1970s would have had deleterious effects on families.
Goldberg reported that the story will “explore how one of the toughest battlegrounds in the culture wars of the 1970s helped give rise to the Moral Majority” and will be told from the perspectives of Schlafly and feminist forebearers Gloria Steinem, Betty Friedan, Shirley Chisholm, and more.
Blanchett seems happy to play the role -- she related in a statement that she is “extremely excited about delving into the material as there couldn’t be a more appropriate time to peel back the layers of this recent period of history” (emphasis added). So we are left to wonder whether Mrs. America will be a faithful take on the decade’s events or a Trump blast stretched into nine episodes.
Though most media news sites have been relatively sedate about this announcement, feminist bastion Jezebel couldn’t resist the urge to snark. The outlet’s Frida Garza conveyed on Oct. 30 her amusement that “... Blanchett is so confident in her career and in her acting chops that she would choose to play the ultimate villain — a woman who wishes to chip away at the rights of other women — in the year of our lord 2018.”