A show that spans decades, discusses political interference, and features an almost unrecognisable Russell Crowe with an American accent? We’re intrigued.
The Loudest Voice follows Russell Crowe as he portrays Roger Ailes, one of the biggest players in political coverage, from his forced redundancy at NBC in 1995 through to his death in 2017.
As leader of Fox News, Republican Party advocate and vocal supporter of leaders like George W. Bush and Donald Trump, Ailes held more sway than almost anyone in the media business.
His influence stretched beyond the confines of his network, enticing audiences to stay watching and listening to the narrative that he chose to tell them.
In the opening of the first episode, we hear him talk of how “people don’t wanna be informed, they wanna feel informed”.
At its core, that’s the ethos behind the show: watching powerful media players influence real life decisions in a way that has since shaped the US political climate.
From former General Electric CEO Jack Welch to News Corporation chairman Rupert Murdoch, and US Presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama, many of the major power players of politics and media from the last few decades are represented.
The timing of The Loudest Voice’s release is also topical given the extent to which the influence of Fox News has shaped the political landscape, especially heading towards the 2020 election.
Crowe’s portrayal of Ailes presents at first as almost unassuming, though his underlying capacity to rally people behind him is instrumental in creating a sphere of influence in which he resided until his passing.
With Fox News still maintaining a strong foothold as one of America’s highest-rated news platforms — as the show details — it’s important to consider the learnings from this account of how media consumers need to ensure they remain properly informed.
So too is it a timely reminder of the pervasive nature of sexual harassment.
Australian actor Naomi Watts co-stars as Gretchen Carlson, the first woman to come forward and file a sexual harassment suit against Ailes, and features heavily in trailers as the main target of his inappropriate behaviour.
Other strong supporting cast members include Sienna Miller (who is also unrecognisable as Roger’s wife Beth) and Family Guy’s Seth Macfarlane, giving his regular smarmy fare as Ailes’ senior advisor Brian Lewis.
Given the power that the media has when it comes to information, responsibility and education, it’s series like The Loudest Voice that should be listened to most keenly.
Watch it for yourself every Monday from the premiere on July 1st, the same day as the US — only on Stan.
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