Megyn Kelly reveals what she thinks Bombshell got right — and wrong
Even as Theron has been racking up awards nominations for her portrayal of Kelly, the real-life journalist has been keeping her distance from the film. Directed by Jay Roach and written by Charles Randolph, Bombshell depicts the downfall of longtime Fox titan Roger Ailes (played by John Lithgow) and how multiple women — including Kelly — accused him of sexual harassment. (Ailes, who died in 2017 after being forced out of the company, denied all allegations.)
On Thursday, Kelly broke her silence about the film by releasing a 30-minute video of herself watching and discussing Bombshell with her husband and several other former Fox employees, who say they were also sexually harassed at the network.
“The movie Bombshell is a Hollywood film about the sexual harassment scandal at Fox News,” Kelly wrote on Twitter, before sharing a link to the video. “I have no connection to the film, and hold no stake at all in it. I do, however, have a connection to many of the women who actually lived it.”
Kelly gathered her husband, Douglas Brunt, and former Fox employees Juliet Huddy, Rudi Bakhtiar, and Julie Zann to watch Bombshell with her. Afterward, she led them in a discussion of what they feel the film got right and wrong.
The 49-year-old journalist, who left Fox News in 2017 before briefly working for NBC, said she couldn’t speak to the details of Theron’s performance because she felt “too close to it.”
“It’s just too weird to see someone who looks just like you on the screen, pretending to be you,” she added.
Kelly concluded that the film “took liberties” with her story, but many key scenes rang true for her, particularly the tense atmosphere in the elevator going up to Ailes’ office. She also shared some of her own journal entries from the time, noting how they lined up with scenes in the movie.
Kelly specifically called out a few moments that she says the film got wrong — particularly a scene that suggests she ran a debate question for now-President Donald Trump by the Murdochs, or that Ailes applauded her for how she questioned Trump.
“The notion that Roger liked the Donald Trump ‘woman’ question because it created controversy and a TV moment was not true,” Kelly said. “Roger did not like the question — at all — and was very angry at me for asking it. At one point [he] actually said to me, ‘No more female empowerment stuff.’”
The group also criticized a scene in the film in which Margot Robbie’s character — a composite figure based on several real-life anonymous Fox accusers — shames Kelly for not speaking up sooner and possibly sparing other women. Kelly called the scene “victim blaming,” but she ultimately concluded that if she was consulted, she would’ve kept it in the script.
The women also discussed how the film portrayed “the infamous spin” — where Ailes would ask female employees to twirl at his command. Kelly admitted that Ailes once asked her to spin, and she acquiesced.
“If you don’t get how demeaning that is, I can’t help you,” she said. “In retrospect, I’d give anything if I’d said no.”