The #MeToo movement shows no sign of slowing down. Like the women who started the Time’s Up movement, public broadcaster PBS intends to make sure that all the progress made in shining a light on sexual harassment isn’t lost and is able to continue.
At the Television Critics Association press tour on Tuesday, PBS President and CEO Paula Kerger announced the five-part, half-hour series titled, “#MeToo, Now What?” (a working title). Hosted by Zainab Salbi, founder of Women for Women International, the discussion series will premiere in February.
The conversation will engage both men and women from all ages and walks of life about sexual harassment and how to create positive and lasting change. Each episode will focus on one aspect of sexual harassment: the impact of popular culture on women in the workplace, how race and class factor into the discussion, the social costs of pay inequity and gender discrimination, how men can be engaged in this discussion, and, ultimately, how we begin to chart a path forward. Salbi will also include original reporting on the subjects, and guests ranging from celebrities and industry leaders to journalists and activists.
“‘#MeToo, Now What?’ will offer a much-needed space for honest conversation around this issue,” said Beth Hoppe, PBS chief programming exec and general manager, in a statement. “This series will provide context and perspective from a wide range of voices, with the goal of moving towards healing and understanding.”
“In order for this conversation to create true cultural change, we must talk with the man on the street, in our lives, our colleagues and friends,” said Salbi. “Equally, we need to have the conversation with the women in our lives to examine why, when we’ve seen sexual misconduct, we’ve often looked the other way when it didn’t impact us directly.”
The #MeToo movement sprang up in the wake of multiple high-profile men in the entertainment industry being outed for a history of sexual harassment and/or assault. Women banded together by using the #MeToo hashtag to highlight the prevalence of such everyday behavior. While many companies and networks found themselves having to take swift action against some executives and creatives who were exposed for misconduct, PBS wasn’t spared either. Host Charlie Rose was suspended after multiple sexual harassment allegations came to light in November, and a month later, Tavis Smiley was also suspended following an investigation into allegations.
“#MeToo, Now What?” will premiere on Friday, Feb. 2 at 8:30 p.m. on PBS (check local listings).