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Margot Robbie has explained that she “didn’t know the definition of sexual harassment” in the workplace until she starred in the 2019 movie, Bombshell.

The Jay Roach-directed movie was based on the true story of a group of women, including Megyn Kelly and Gretchen Carlson, who accused Fox News head Roger Ailes of sexual harassment and allegations of a toxic atmosphere while presiding over the network. While Nicole Kidman played the role of Gretchen and Charlize Theron transformed into Megyn, Australian actress Margot took on the fictional part of Kayla Pospisil.

The 32-year-old actress has now explained that she signed on to play the role to gain a deeper understanding of sexual harassment in the workplace.

Speaking to Variety at the BAFTA Life in Pictures event, she said: “I realised that I – as a person with an established position in the industry, financially set up and self-sufficient – I didn’t know the definition of sexual harassment, and that’s shocking.”

“Horrified,” Margot explained that filming the movie Bombshell made her realise that so much sexual harassment and bad behaviours “flourishes in the grey area”.

“Roger Ailes or Harvey Weinstein, they take advantage of the area. The situation isn’t black and white.”


As a result of the difficult subject matter, Margot explained that the role was easy to shake. “The second I could stop being Kayla, I did,” she said. “It was definitely something I wanted to tap out of at the end.”

When reflecting on the fact that she had only worked with a single female director on a feature film by her 20th big screen project – with Mary Queen Of Scots director Josie Rourke – Margot said she sees no difference between men and women behind the camera and “couldn’t put it down to gender.”

She added: “I’d love to say Josie has a particular insight as a woman, which she does, but then on something like Bombshell with a male director, [Jay Roach] is the most emotionally intuitive person I know,”

“It didn’t work better because he’s a man, but every single director has a totally different personality and process.”

The movie Bombshell was based on the real high-profile #MeToo scandal.

Bombshell focuses on the stories of multiple female employees at Fox News in America, who came forward with allegations of sexual harassment against the former chairman and CEO Roger Ailes.

The movie’s synopsis reads: “Bombshell is a revealing look inside the most powerful and controversial media empire of all time; Fox News, and the explosive story of the women who brought down the infamous man who created it.”

Watch the trailer for Bombshell below:


  • Jennifer Read-Dominguez

    Jennifer Read-Dominguez is founder of The Women's Journal and a digital editorial director with over ten years experience in the media and publishing industry. Jennifer has led the digital transformation strategies for many market-leading lifestyle magazines putting SEO and e-commerce at the forefront. She is also founder of Jeneration Public Relations - a UK digital-first public relations and communications consultancy that provides strategic coverage for clients.

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