Jessica Jones creator Melissa Rosenberg has shared her thoughts on the far-reaching influence of the #MeToo movement, calling its effect on the entertainment industry nothing short of “extraordinary.” The hit Netflix series – which debuted its second season back in March – stars Krysten Ritter as the titular private investigator, who gains superhuman abilities following a catastrophic car accident.
Jones and her best friend Trish (Rachel Taylor) have one thing in common: They’ve both had intensely traumatic experiences with sexual assault or rape. To hear Rosenberg say it, these thematic similarities to all-too current events are purely coincidental. In fact, the new season was already in the bag before the Harvey Weinstein allegations even came to light.
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Here is what Roenberg offered us on the subject of #MeToo, during our interview with her:
“We’d already written and shot all the episodes before the Harvey Weinstein floodgates opened. It was a year before it even happened and we were writing that story. It’s very common knowledge, it has always been common knowledge that that sort of thing goes on all the time. I think what the Harvey Weinstein incident did was too really put it out in the open. We’re looking at in a harsh day of light going, ‘Wait a second, that is so wrong. That is wrong to the point that it’s illegal.’ But there’s been an acceptance level all these years. ‘Oh god, well, it’s just stuff we have to put up with.’ Finally someone said, ‘Why?’ and added, ‘No.’ [laughs]. In bringing it to Trish’s character and having that little story arc for her… it’s really par for the course for so many actresses… As it turned out, we aired right around the time of this whole movement. It seems prescient but really it’s not like this is new. It’s not like this is news to anybody that this sort of thing goes on.”
Now that the floodgates have opened, Rosenberg says it’s beyond vindicating to see all the stories that have finally come to light:
Just on a personal standpoint, it was really extraordinary to have the movement take a big step forward and be a very open conversation. That was personally really amazing for any woman I think. But for this season, it was kind of amazing that we jumped into this conversation having already done all of our work [chuckles]. We just came out and lo and behold, it was very topical.
However, Rosenberg is quick to point out that whatever topicality Jennifer Jones might have in light of current events, the show is purely entertainment, and should only be taken as such:
The risk that you run there is it gets perceived as medicine and you stop seeing it as something that’s actually entertaining. You’ll say, for those people who are either tired of the meaty conversation or have issues with it, you might look at a show – It’s easy for us to get branded as medicine rather than entertainment.
Rosenberg’s statements come on the heels of news that Jennifer Lawrence is prepping a #MeToo documentary series. A recent survey suggests ninety-four percent of women in Hollywood have experienced some sort of sexual harassment on the job. In November 2017, Supergirl star Melissa Benoist opened up about a “heartbreaking” incident, emphasizing the importance of a workplace free of sexual harassment of any kind.
In October 2016, Rosenberg (the screenwriter behind the Twilight movies and a former Dexter writer and executive producer) announced season two of Jessica Jones would be entirely directed by women. The end of that season – minor spoiler alert – found Jones starting to accept that she just might be a superhero in the making. There are some very strong intimations that her friend Trish has latent superpowers as well, so don’t be surprised if we see the rise of Hellcat in season 3.
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