The life of Ann Hopkins — the plaintiff in the landmark Supreme Court case Price Waterhouse v. Hopkins — is getting the feature film treatment.
Elizabeth Fowler, one of the producers behind the Keira Knightley starrer Official Secrets, is set to produce a new movie based on Hopkins’ 1996 memoir So Ordered: Making Partner the Hard Way.
In 1982, Hopkins was considered for partnership at Price Waterhouse — the only woman among 88 candidates. Despite clear success in bringing business to the company, her candidacy was put on indefinite hold. She eventually resigned and sued the company for sex discrimination, arguing that her lack of promotion came after pressure to walk, talk, dress and act more “femininely.” These requirements, she argued, would never have been made of a male colleague and violated Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.
Hopkins’ case resulted in a 6-3 victory in the Supreme Court and has been used to protect women, effeminate men and transgender people from discrimination. Hopkins died in 2018.
The film will tell the story of her fight for justice, which she took all the way to the Supreme Court as her marriage disintegrated and she became a single mother of three.
“This is both a timeless and timely universal story about being judged on the basis of how you look and whether you fit in with society’s expectations vs. your talent and ability,” Fowler said Monday in a statement. “This is about a regular mom in 1982, who stood up to one of the largest companies in the world for what was right, and despite a difficult journey that cost her a lot personally, she won.”
Eleanor Morrison, author of the children’s book C Is for Consent, will pen the screenplay. She also will produce the feature.