In the aftermath of the public outing of known serial harassers and assorted predators that took place in the aftermath of the Harvey Weinstein exposés published in The New York Times and New Yorker last fall, one of the many questions that have come up for debate is this: Is there a path to redemption for these men? If so, what does it look like? What should it look like? The answer to that question is still being determined, but we can say this for sure: A show where serial harassers commiserate with other serial harassers about how unfair it is to be driven from your chosen profession simply because of a repeated pattern of words and behaviors betraying your fundamental disrespect for colleagues you view as sexual objects rather than full human beings ain’t it.
This audacious act of entitled self-pity was first reported by Page Six, who heard it from ex-Vanity Fair editor and The Daily Beast founder Tina Brown, who revealed that Rose had emailed her asking her to produce the series—in which Rose would interview other famous men exposed by the #MeToo movement—at a Q&A at the Brooklyn Bridge Park Conservancy’s Women’s Luncheon. “These guys are already planning their comebacks!,” Brown told the assembled philanthropists, adding that she had said, in so many words, no fucking way to the proposal.
Now, Brown was a friend of Rose’s before 11 women went on the record formally accusing him of sexual harassment, which is presumably why he thought to email her. She also expressed her belief that “I think friendship exists through the bad times as well as the good” in an interview with W Magazine last December when specifically asked about Rose. However, she also compares the downfall of Rose, Matt Lauer, Louis C.K., et al in that same interview to “watching the statues of Saddam Hussein being pulled down” and says that she hadn’t spoken to Rose since his firing. It’s entirely possible that the two have gotten together for lunch in the months hence, but even so, that’s still brazen given that Rose was fired less than six months ago.
It may also be an act of desperation: As of right now, it’s unclear whether this series is actually under development at an actual production company or is just an idle thought of Rose’s. It should also be noted that PBS already aired a series called #MeToo, Now What that featured an interview with Devin Faraci, the disgraced film critic whose re-hiring by the Alamo Drafthouse just a few months after he was fired over accusations of sexual assault sparked a contentious debate over the theater’s culture and policies. So, sorry, Charlie. You’re a few months late.
And although attendees say Brown made an offhand comment about the project being a “Netflix show” at the Q&A, representatives for Netflix confirm to Page Six and Vanity Fair that they have nothing to do with the project, and had never even heard of it before being contacted for comment. After all, the streaming service already has its own talk-show interview series hosted by a man who not 10 years ago was apologizing for inappropriate sexual relationships with his staff on national television. And he didn’t even get fired for it. Maybe the times really are changing.