Justin Baldoni Aims to Break Down Masculinity at 'Man Enough' Premiere

Justin Baldoni attends the NALIP 2017 Latino Media Awards - Getty-H 2017
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The 'Jane the Virgin' star held an intimate screening for his new talk show in which male guests discuss the limitations and restrictions of adhering to traditional gender roles.

Jane the Virgin star Justin Baldoni premiered his new talk show, Man Enough, on Wednesday evening in Los Angeles. The show is produced by Baldoni's company, Wayfarer Entertainment.

In the first episode, screened to an intimate crowd of friends and family in the Charlie Chaplin screening room at Raleigh Studios, Baldoni hosted a chat over dinner with comedian Bassem Youssef, Hamilton star Javier Munoz, Dancing With the Stars pro Derek Hough, How to Get Away With Murder star Matt McGorry and spoken-word artist and rapper Prince Ea.

The wide-ranging conversation touched on issues of traditional masculinity, why men have trouble opening up emotionally and how to redefine traditional gender roles in America.

"We're hoping that this conversation can be the pre-antidote of sorts to future sexual harassment issues in America," show writer and Wayfarer partner Farhoud Meybodi told The Hollywood Reporter.

The show was shopped around for three years at different networks, with no takers. "We were met with, 'Oh, who's going to watch men talking to each other?'" Baldoni explained. The decision was made to release the show online, with the help of a sponsorship from Harry's, the men's grooming company.

Intercut with the dinner conversation were one-on-one chats between Baldoni and a gender studies professor discussing the social science behind gender roles, and an emotional conversation in which Baldoni addressed issues of masculinity and male bonding with his father, Sam.

Following the screening, a teary-eyed Baldoni thanked the audience for coming and offered a special thanks to his wife, Emily, for all her support. He also thanked his parents, who were in attendance, and greeted nearly all audience members with big thank-yous and hugs. 

A post-screening panel was then held for the audience in which Baldoni invited episode guests Prince Ea, Youssef, McGorry and special guest Glenn Howerton of It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia fame. Much like the episode, the panel took a deep dive into the issues surrounding masculinity and male emotional avoidance.

The discussion was wide ranging and touched on issues of sexual harassment, the historical genesis of current gender roles and how to best address the issues and move forward.

Offering possible historical context for current tension between men and women, Youssef joked about the pharaohs of ancient Egypt: "They build the pyramids but were afraid of female orgasms." 

The talk show, which features a rotating group of male stars in each episode to discuss topics that range from politics to their own insecurities to what it means to be a man today, launches on Thursday and is free to view online at wearemanenough.com.