Former Fox News anchor Megyn Kelly has spoken at length on “Bombshell,” the Jay Roach-directed movie that dramatizes her takedown of disgraced Fox CEO and chairman Roger Ailes in the wake of an explosive sexual harassment scandal. She’s played in the film by Charlize Theron, who’s poised to receive an Academy Award nomination for Best Actress this coming Monday, January 13. Kelly previously took to Instagram to share her thoughts on the film, which she called an “incredibly emotional experience” while stressing that this wasn’t necessarily the version of her story she would’ve told. This Thursday, Kelly posted a YouTube video, where she and three former Fox staffers break down key aspects of the film. Kelly also enlists her husband, Douglas Brunt.
As the movie is set in 2016, Kelly is shown moderating discussions with then-in-the-running Donald Trump in a clever feat of editing. But the events don’t go down in the movie as they did in real life, according to Kelly. “They suggest that I had run my debate questions for Trump by the Murdochs. That’s a fantasy. I never ran it by Ailes or the Murdochs, or anyone other than my debate team,” Kelly said. “The notion that Roger liked the ‘Donald Trump woman question’ because it created controversy in a TV moment was not true. Roger did not like the question at all and was very angry at me for asking it. And at one point eventually asking me, ‘no more female empowerment stuff.'”
Kelly also added that “There certainly were no protests of me at the GOP convention. There were other people’s protests. That was all BS.”
Kelly and former Fox employee Julie Zann also said that Margot Robbie’s character Kayla — a fictionalized composite character meant to represent the young staffers that Ailes violated during his tenure at Fox — isn’t portrayed as they’d hoped, especially in a moment where she calls out Kelly’s character for her silence.
“When I saw that scene I thought it was shameful, because it’s un-factual, and it is victim-shaming, and this is a movie about sexual harassment. This is sending the wrong message. You were just a real support system, and I know that it wasn’t just me. It was for a lot of other people,” Zann said, gesturing to Kelly. Still, Kelly, in an emotional moment in the YouTube discussion, said she would not have cut the scene, and that it hits especially close to home. “I’ve looked back on my own life, every moment from that moment forward, and I do wish I had done more. Even though I was powerless, even though it would’ve been a suicidal move for me career-wise, what if I had just said, ‘screw it?’ Maybe that wouldn’t have happened to you,” she said, gesturing to Zann.
Zann said that Kayla’s humiliation by Roger Ailes (played by John Lithgow), who demands she lift up her skirt as a way of displaying her loyalty, is an accurate reflection of what happened behind closed doors at Fox. “He brought me in and he said, ‘Laurie [then Zann’s supervisor] tells me that you’re a rising star.’ And he commented on how I looked. He asked me what I wouldn’t do for Fox. After he commented on my outfit, he said, ‘Tell me more about yourself’ and I said, ‘I’m a shoe person.’ He said, ‘I hear women who like shoes also like lingerie.'” Zann added, “He had positioned himself in his chair with his legs opened and he wanted me to ask him to give him oral sex. And I was not going to go there. Then, my relationship with Laurie turned very quickly on a dime and [I] was fired a few months later.”
Watch the full YouTube discussion of “Bombshell” below.