Note: Spoilers if you haven’t watched the premiere episode of Amazon’s “Good Girls Revolt.”
The late Nora Ephron plays a pivotal role in Amazon’s new drama “Good Girls Revolt,” which debuted Sunday on the company’s streaming video service.
The truth is Ephron — best known for writing and directing “Sleepless in Seattle” and “You’ve Got Mail” — didn’t play a role in the events dramatized on the drama.
“Good Girls Revolt” is based on a series of events in 1970 in which a group of female researchers at Newsweek filed a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission claiming the news magazine only allowed men to become reporters.
In the first episode, Ephron (played by Grace Gummer) is a newly-hired researcher who quits after finding out that she’ll never be able to write at the magazine. That act emboldens the other women and begins a chain of events that will lead to the EEOC filing.
Ephron’s appearance is based on some truth and some creative licence on the part of the show’s producers. The truth is Ephron, who died in 2012, did work at Newsweek, but several years earlier than the series is set.
“It happened a few years earlier than we said — probably ’64 I think — and so we accelerated it and put it at the time of ’69 so that she was sort of our magical catalyst,” show producer Lynda Obst told Business Insider. “I knew her profoundly well. She was one of my best friends, and I informed the family. They knew the whole time we were casting and was aware of everything. In fact, they came to our premiere and were very, very supportive. And I tried to share as much as I could with [‘Good Girls Revolt’ creator Dana Calvo], who wrote her so beautifully.”
With help from Obst, research, and reading Ephron’s writing, Calvo felt the maverick writer fit right into the story.
“She had no fear,” Calvo told Business Insider. “She never had any fear, and that’s an inspirational person for me. And her mother worked, and so she was naturally feminist. And I think that she loved boys, she loved men, but this would have been a very unnatural situation for her. She inspired women wherever she went. She was like the pied piper of girls. She was that to me, and she was that to almost every girl that she ever met. So I thought it was appropriate.”
If you’ve seen the premiere episode, you probably hoped to see and learn more from Ephron. The producers told Business Insider they were in talks with Gummer to be a season regular role when she opted to join USA Network’s “Mr. Robot” instead. But that doesn’t mean Ephron falls off the face of the earth after the premiere episode, or that Gummer wasn’t pleased with the production.
“She’ll come back in two more episodes, and Grace was just at our wrap party,” Calvo told Business Insider. “I mean, there’s so much affection there, and she’s such great friends with so many of the people.”
Watch a trailer for “Good Girls Revolt” below:
Disclosure: Jeff Bezos is an investor in Business Insider through hispersonal investment company Bezos Expeditions.
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