‘Great News’ completely burns Hollywood with ultra-timely sexual harassment episode
Chances are that NBC’s Great News probably didn’t script and film a whole episode in a week to accommodate the conversation about Harvey Weinstein’s sexual harassment (duh). Thursday’s episode of the comedy about employees at a daytime talk show was always going to air – it’s just eerily topical.
In Season 2 episode 3 (available on Hulu), Katie (Briga Wheelan) learns that her show’s new producer Diana (Tina Fey) is sexually harassing male employees. Once one says something, more come forward, but Katie and Portia (Nicole Richie) refuse to believe it.
“How many more men have to come forward before you believe us?” they ask. The show smartly flips the gender script to show how ridiculous the things some men say about women victims are.
When Katie confronts Diana, she dismisses it. “That wasn’t sexual harassment,” she says. For a moment, Katie is relieved, but Diana goes on: “They wanted it.”
Though its given a comedic twist, Diana’s behaviors do constitute harassment. She asks one employee to repeatedly pick up a pen so she can look at his butt, makes someone dance for her, and forces one to eat a banana in front of her lest she fire him.
Katie is torn. She looked up to Diana as a boss, but thinks she might be a bad person. She then learns that Diana harassed Katie’s mother Carol (Andrea Martin; she’s an intern – that’s the show!), and that drives everything home.
As the employees prepare to take a case to human resources, Portia says it’s pointless. She mentions how long it took to catch Roger Ailes (and that he had a “bad penis”) before suggesting they catch Diana through a sting operation. Carol goes undercover to catch her, but Diana cracks.
It turns out that Diana was deliberately harassing everyone in the building because she wanted to get taken down for harassment. She wanted the payout that prominent harassers like Ailes, Billy Bush, and BIll O’Reilly got – a pre-paid retirement disguised as a punishment.
“We’re all a bunch of sickos,” says Chuck (John Michael Higgins) (he means men). For a twisting, shining moment, the employees agree to report DIana for harassment – in the interest of gender equality in the workplace. They don’t go through with it, but it’s quite the con.
“Maybe someday…we’ll live in a world where a woman can be a creep,” Diana says. “And go home with a huge golden parachute.”
Great News airs Thursdays at 9:30 p.m. on NBC.