Gretchen Carlson Documentary Will Examine Use of NDAs to Silence Whistleblowers
Gretchen Carlson, the former Fox News host who sued the network for sexual harassment and won, will be the subject of a new documentary, “In Her Own Words,” which will examine the use of non-disclosure agreements to silence whistleblowers. The film will also chronicle the efforts of Carlson and Julie Roginsky to launch Lift Our Voices, a nonprofit initiative which is trying to eliminate NDAs and mandatory arbitration clauses from the workplace.
“In Her Own Words” will be made with Carlson’s full participation and collaboration, but in a sad bit of irony, the newscaster can’t address certain parts of her time at Fox News as she remains bound by the NDA that accompanied her settlement.
“It is time to tell my story,” said Carlson. “One-third of American workers are bound by NDAs. They cannot tell their own truths, they cannot tell their own stories. I hope that collaborating with the filmmakers to powerfully depict the complexity and nuance of life with an NDA will demonstrate why no one who is the target of workplace sexual harassment should ever have to sign one again.”
NDAs have also been used to silence accusers of other high-profile alleged bullies or abusers such as Scott Rudin and Harvey Weinstein. Carlson’s story has been highlighted in such films as “Bombshell” and “The Loudest Voice in the Room.”
“In Her Own Words” is currently in production and will be directed and produced by Emmy-nominated filmmaker Cynthia Lowen (“Bully”). XTR, the nonfiction company behind “You Cannot Kill David Arquette,” “76 Days,” and “The Fight,” will back the film. It will also be produced by Rebekah Shufelt. Kathryn Everett, Bryn Mooser and Justin Lacob will executive produce for XTR.
Here’s the official logline: “At 11:12 AM on July 6, 2016, Gretchen Carlson posted to Twitter: ‘As you may have heard, I am no longer with @FoxNews.’ That morning, Carlson filed a lawsuit in New Jersey Superior Court against Roger Ailes, a titan of media and founder of the Fox News Network. Carlson’s allegations against Ailes resulted in his termination from the network, with an exit package far exceeding the settlement Carlson herself received in exchange for signing an NDA with Ailes, NewsCorp, Fox News and 21st Century Fox, preventing her from ever speaking about Ailes or Fox News again. ‘In Her Own Words’ reclaims the narrative, depicting the cost of silence while shining a light on the work being done to dismantle a predatory system of power through policy changes.”
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