“It’s just very empowering for women from the top down,” says Gugu Mbatha-Raw about “The Morning Show,” Apple TV’s flagship drama about the power struggles behind the scenes of a morning news program not unlike “Today” or “Good Morning America.” “Every female character gets their moment … The conversation around the show is going to be really fascinating.” Watch our exclusive video interview with Mbatha-Raw about “The Morning Show” as well as her role in “Motherless Brooklyn” above.
Mbatha-Raw co-stars as Hannah Shoenfeld, the chief segment producer helping her top-rated program stay afloat during a time of crisis. In a case of art imitating life, the series tells the fictional story of a sexual misconduct scandal that leads to the ouster of anchor Mitch Kessler (Steve Carell). That’s not unlike the allegations that led to the real-life firings of morning TV personalities Matt Lauer (“Today”) and Charlie Rose (“CBS This Morning”).
“Our show is fiction, but it’s set in the modern day, and I think it’s always inspiring to work on shows that have a real resonance, especially post #MeToo era in the media world,” Mbatha-Raw explains about the timely storyline. “Now what? How do we move on from this massive moment that we’ve had culturally? How do we continue to evolve, continue to empower women and continue to keep the conversation moving forward?”
It’s not just in its storyline that the show gives voice to women. It’s also driven by women behind the scenes. Stars Jennifer Aniston and Reese Witherspoon are also executive producers. Kerry Ehrin (“Bates Motel”) is the showrunner. Mimi Leder (“ER”) directs and produces. But while the subject matter is quite serious, Mbatha-Raw was also drawn to how entertaining the show is, presenting the “juicy, Machiavellian world” of modern media. “The characters are so delicious.”
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