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Writer Charles Randolph tells the story of Roger Ailes and his sexual harassment scandal in Jay Roach’s Bombshell. He spoke to the Writer Roundtable on telling the true story, explaining how he never got the chance to meet Ailes prior to his death in 2017.
“[I] did not meet Roger. He died, I would say, about halfway through. I did meet quite a few of the others. Twelve or 13 of whom have NDAs, so we can’t really talk about who they were,” he said.
“I guess I would say that in the case of Roger, I felt like the narrative that the women had told about him was pretty strong, and it had a fascinating consistency throughout it,” Randolph continued. “Particularly trying to arrive at his particular kinks, and his sexual pathology.”
Randolph went on to discuss writing empathetically for someone like Ailes, explaining why he “prefers it.”
“I prefer to write people who I don’t agree with because I can counter, I can turn the scene so many more times, because I naturally have an instinct to counter their ideas. And then to force myself to back and sort of do that tit for tat. So I prefer to write conservatives than liberals.”
He added: “I think any time you write a human being, it does some form of giving you an empathetic relationship to their place in the world. And that is so helpful, even in perpetrators or misdeeds.”
Randolph is an Oscar-winning writer, winning best adapted screenplay for The Big Short in 2016.
The full Writer Roundtable is set to air Feb. 2 on Sundance TV. Randolph appears on the roundtable panel along with Lorene Scafaria (Hustlers), Kasi Lemmons (Harriet), Taika Waititi (Jojo Rabbit), Anthony McCarten (The Two Popes) and Destin Cretton (Just Mercy). Follow all the Oscar-season roundtables at THR.com/Roundtables.
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