9:45am PT by Bryn Elise Sandberg
'Me Too' Series Exploring Sexual Harassment Set at PBS
PBS is getting in on the #MeToo movement.
The public broadcaster has ordered a new five-part series #MeToo, Now What? hosted by Zainab Salbi, the founder of humanitarian organization Women for Women International. The half-hour show will explore the topic at the forefront of the national conversation: the culture’s sexual harassment awakening.
Debuting Feb. 2, #MeToo, Now What? aims to take that discussion to another level by talking to women and men from different generations and walks of life about these difficult issues. The series asks the question: How did we get here and how can we use this moment to effect positive and lasting change moving forward?
Every episode will focus on an aspect of sexual harassment, and will include reporting from Salbi with a mix of field and in-studio segments. Among the many issues explored in the stand-alone episodes: the impact of popular culture on women in the workplace, how race and class factor into the discussion, the social costs of pay inequity and gender discrimination, how men can be engaged in this discussion and how we begin to chart a path forward.
In addition, #MeToo, Now What? will welcome a range of guests, from ordinary citizens to activists, journalists, celebrities and leaders from the worlds of media, academics, business, arts, entertainment, fashion and advertising.
“#MeToo, Now What? will offer a much-needed space for honest conversation around this issue,” said Beth Hoppe, PBS chief programming executive and general manager of general audience programming. “This series will provide context and perspective from a wide range of voices, with the goal of moving towards healing and understanding.”
“In order for this conversation to create true cultural change, we must talk with the man on the street, in our lives, our colleagues and friends,” added Salbi, who is the author of several books, including Between Two Worlds: Escape From Tyranny: Growing Up in the Shadow of Saddam, and is currently the editor at large at Women in the World. “Equally, we need to have the conversation with the women in our lives to examine why, when we’ve seen sexual misconduct, we’ve often looked the other way when it didn’t impact us directly.”
The show will be produced by Women in the World Media and will co-produced by Public Square Media, with funding provided by PBS. Salbi will serve as executive editor and host, while Gina Kim will executive producer and Suzanne Hayward will co-executive produce. Ahmer Kalam will be the creative director and Robert Clauser will be the executive in charge, with other production executives including Judy Doctoroff and Sally Roy.