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‘Red Pilled America’ Challenges Hulu’s Schlafly Series

The podcast takes on 'Mrs. America,' a potentially one-sided look at the icon

FX on Hulu won’t have the final word on conservative icon Phyllis Schlafly.

“Mrs. America,” which debuts its first three episodes today on the streaming platform, recalls Schlafly’s successful fight against the Equal Rights Amendment.

Early reviews suggest the 9-part series paints the social conservative in a most unflattering light.

Mrs. America | Official Trailer #2 [HD] | FX

Oscar winner Cate Blanchett, an executive producer on the project, takes center stage as Schlafly. The series covers far more than the pro-life leader, though. We also meet Gloria Steinem (Rose Byrne), Bella Abzug (Margo Martindale), Shirley Chisholm (Uzo Aduba) and Betty Friedan (Tracey Ullman).

These powerful women collide, argue and debate the merits of both the ERA and feminism in the late 20th century. The series is “based on true events,” according to Hulu.

Early reviews describe a prolonged assault on the woman it dubs “Mrs. America.” The far left Hollywood Reporter says the series casts Schlafly as more than merely a hiss-worthy conservative.

Destined for the series’ Emmy reel are the many scenes in which Schlafly, in encountering the proud racists, murderous homophobes and anti-papal evangelicals whose numbers she needs but whose stances she can’t publicly support or personally abide, tries and fails to twist her face into something resembling polite disagreement. Blanchett lets the contempt show.

Other critics depict a balance portrait, saying the series grants Schlafly some of her humanity.

Mrs. America is not exactly a sympathetic portrait of Phyllis Schlafly, but it is at pains to put these speeches into the mouth of its protagonist, to humanize her and paint her as a woman who triumphs over adversity and sees what women are really up against.

The series, from “Mad Men” creator Dahvi Waller, gets a strong rebuttal from “Red Pilled America” starting today.

The right-leaning podcast spins stories the mainstream media won’t touch. That’s likely true again with its latest episode, a look at Schlafly’s life story.

The hosts, Patrick Courrielche and Adryana Cortez, dub the episode “counter-programming” to the Hulu series.

“Through our research, we believe the show’s creators intend to misrepresent Phyllis Schlafly’s life experiences and soil her legacy,” Cortez says. “This can be seen in the limited video clips that have been released and the interviews they’ve given.”

The hosts note “Mrs. America’s” creators didn’t seek out Schlafly’s children or the organization she created, the Eagle Forum, to learn more about her life and legacy. Anne Schlafly Cori told this reporter she attempted to contact the production with no luck.

Cortez notes that “Mrs. America’s” executive producers Stacey Sher (“Pulp Fiction”) and Blanchett (“Carol,” “I’m Not There”) both benefited from now-disgraced producer Harvey Weinstein over the years.

“The irony that those two individuals are involved in a character assassination of a female conservative icon is not lost on us,” she says.

Sher opened up about her political leanings and her involvement in “Mrs. America” in a Variety guest column.

There is a direct link between the anti-ERA housewives and the women who felt disrespected by Hillary Clinton asking if people expected her to “stay home and bake cookies….”

Finally, it is utterly incomprehensible that enshrining these simple words — “Equality of rights under the law shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any state on account of sex” — in the Constitution is still so controversial.

Cortez fears the film will dissuade viewers from an actual role model -- Schlafly herself.

“Her life story is the canvas that speaks to the fact that women can have it all – family and career. Phyllis understood perfectly that our value is tied directly to the fact that we are women, not men,” she says. “We will not stand by and allow Hollywood to tarnish her good name and via Red Pilled America strive to counter the narratives that seek to rewrite history.”

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9 Comments

  1. If Republicans and Conservatives will not document and portray themselves in film, leftist liberal Hollywood pedophile human trafficking serial rapist drug addicted perverts WILL. And then give themselves awards for it.

    Conservatives need to start producing hagiographies, as much as we hate it, because the left has been doing this for decades.

  2. As others have pointed out, Schlafley was, probably unarguably, the most politically influential American woman of her era. Stopping the ERA singlehandedly was her third most impressive feat. Her most impressive feat was writing the book (i’m relying in my memory here) A choice, not an echo, which provided the road map ultimately for Reaganism, and then another book with a retired general outlining the strategy for out-competing the Soviet Union technologically as a means of bankrupting them.

  3. I had an opportunity to meet Phyllis Schlafly at three GOP conventions I attended (and have pictures to prove it), but I first saw her at a debate over feminism at San Francisco State College back in 1982. Her opponent was Deirdre English of Mother Jones magazine. I sat way back in the bleachers trying to be as inconspicuous as possible (it was San Francisco, after all) the almost lone conservative present, but one young man sat way up front in the audience and was as in-your-face as possible. Good for him, although today he might have prompted a violent reaction.

    Deirdre was big on snark, but little on substance. She said that Phyllis believed in virginity until marriage, so we should congratulate her husband Fred, who was 39 when he married Phyllis, for his self-control over so many years. Phyllis’ riposte was to describe her six children and their successes, and the joys of her family life and holidays together.

    After it was over, I could see a number of the young female crowd becoming ever-so-slightly uncomfortable at Phyllis. How dare she claim to be happy chafing under such conditions? And I overheard a couple of lesbians express disappointment at Deirdre’s approach, which was far less hard-hitting than it could have been.

    A more balanced account of Phyllis’ life can be found in “Sweetheart of the Silent Majority” by Carol Felsenthal.

  4. Betty Friedan was a Stalinist who grew up in a mansion on Grandview Drive, perched on a cliff overlooking the Illinois River, in Peoria, IL, my home town. For her, feminism was all about creating a second front for Communism within America by playing the genders off each other, arguing that women were oppressed by men.

    1. She chose to get married and have children, putting aside an academic career. Then she decided that her choice was oppressive. Even with all her advantages, she just didn’t want accept the realities of her own choices. That is really the legacy of feminism — unhappy women who have been told they shouldn’t want what they want, and that if their choices aren’t sufficiently feminist, they’re wrong.

      It’s actually kind of surprising how feminism holds women in such low esteem.

  5. I’ve seen some trailers. Blanchett’s portrayal seems rather brittle, but then, that is her perception of an individual she never knew and an issue that was finally defeated when she was 8 years old.

    The ERA would be a redundancy, as sex is already a provision in the 1964 Civil Rights Act, and is implied in our founding documents. It’s a failure of the intellect and the imagination to assume that women are not endowed with the same rights as men, even with women’s suffrage being tardy. There is still no reason to entertain such a narrow and unnecessary amendment.

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