Hillary Clinton Documentary Arrives In Peak Election Season
From the broadcast center at KPCC This is the frame. I'm John Horn on today's show. Could there be an economic upside to the spread of the corona virus for some in the entertainment industry and Hillary Clinton talks about a new documentary series that chronicles her life and politics including her 2016 debates against Donald Trump. Do I turn around and say back off you creep? I'm not intimidated by you. Which I knew would have polarizing effects like you know if she can't handle him how she can handle Vladimir Putin well I would add a heck of a lot better than the current guy. That's coming up today on the frame we'll be right back. While the spread of corona virus seems to be slowing in China. Much of the Chinese economy remains virtually shutdown add to that concern over an increase in new cases in other places around the world including the United States and the impact on the global economy continues to mount but there might be an upside for those in the business of home entertainment. Matt Donnelly is a senior film writer at Variety Matt. Welcome back to the show. Thanks for having me so. Let's talk first about the sectors within the entertainment industry that really stand to lose the most and have lost the most as the corona virus spreads theme Parks Movie Theaters Ranked List. It's already pretty dire. I mean first and foremost kick theme parks. You Know The Walt Disney Company's revenue forty seven percent of that is is is live attractions and parks so with international red shutdown on many believes that the US will be imminent. That's already half of their operating revenue. Which is pretty staggering. I'm from there. You know if you look at a market like China. That has such a booming middle class. Cinema has really become ingrained in the culture. And you know any number of factors point to just how valuable that relationship is to the Hollywood studios and you know to projections as today are around. Five billion in losses Even into the next coming couple of coming months and who knows if can use any longer so I would say it's sort of just like a numbers game and certainly a domino effect and again we're not looking at just China You know the theaters padlock there. But now we're seeing rapid spread in South Korea and Italy and Japan and who knows whereas next and those are all huge markets for Hollywood films China the most important market outside of North America. For Hollywood all seventy thousand screens and China are closed and it feels like now that there are upcoming films including the next James Bond Film Mu Lan that might not get released internationally on schedule or baby now for a while. What we heard yeah. It's a really interesting dilemma because you know that there's People. I think you know the World Health Organization and governments are sort of operating under the assumption that this will be resolved so in that scenario the exhibitors worldwide really eager to have Hollywood holds these movies so that it can encourage a global population who is terrified to come back to theaters. You know to bring their children to bring their friends to go out on date night and that's not really something viable Hollywood is looking to make a cash. Grab into attempt to recoup some of the losses. They face with those titles. Like you said not to mention you know fast and furious the summer you know. There's a new minions movie which is a huge family draw So I think that they're kind of looking down the barrel an economic meltdown or a huge. Pr Crisis You know as as global population sits terrified But I think for now everyone is watching and waiting sort of game of chicken between the mainland China government and the. Us as is the same for you. Know other territories that be become affected by corona virus. But I think eventually because these companies have obligations to shareholders are GonNa have to look at different ways to explore bringing in that revenue. And that is mostly like you said Through home entertainment because he will be isolated. We're talked with Matt. Donnelly variety about the impact of corona virus on Hollywood. Let's talk about and it's I feel almost conflicted sane as one bright spot and that is Netflix. Over the past week and a half as concerns about a global pandemic have accelerated the stock of net flicks has outperformed the broader market by about seventeen percent. And if you look at Netflix. Compared to Disney Net flicks is up almost twenty five percent compared to Disney. It feels like that might be a safe haven for people who are worried about going out and being in big crowds like movie theaters absolutely. And this is one of the instances where being sort of the first in their field is really sort of paying off if that doesn't sound so morbid to say but you know having legacy brand and the streaming space like net flex You know I think. There's something really comforting in reflexive about watching even if there's a blizzard keeping people in on the weekends or when there's nothing better to do sort of is that is that place you turn so yeah. I mean I think that is definitely not just a good market indicator but sort of comforting ritual as the. Us braces with the idea that we might all be locked doors. And I think it's also possible that network television is going to get a bounce as well. I'm wondering if movie theaters become. Maybe too dangerous. Is it possible that Disney for example could start taking some of its movies to its streaming service and bypass theaters completely? Is that a potential outcome. Absolutely you know you bring up a great question. That is a long sort of battle in Hollywood. Which is a conversation around release? Windows Typically American movie theaters get exclusive rights to new premium movies for at least ninety days before they had to streaming video on demand before they go to net flex before you could maybe see them on television but I think a crisis like this sort of gives a morbid opportunity to explore how you can break those windows and get content writer that consumer. It's something that they actually did in China. Ah in early February after they locked down the entire country There was a huge film. That was de debut in theaters are called lost in Russia that the government simply posted online and up to six hundred million people watched it and it was not monetize but sort of like a national sedative for the crisis that comes so I could see similar things like that happening in the US. Now part of our job requires going out into theaters and being with crowds. I'm not one to worry but I'm wondering in your newsroom. Other people you talk to who work in the field are they starting to have second thoughts about going out seeing movies or attending. There's a big movie convention at the end of the month in Las Vegas movie. Theater owners are people starting to say. Maybe I don't need to go do that. Yeah I think the journalism is not a business that is immune no pun intended to this sort of fear anxiety and also we're balancing our obligations as journalists. You know what I mean we have to. I think obligation to report to our audiences Just sort of how people are responding but you know our our newsroom. All others are sort of trying to stay in compliance with the CDC and it's an ongoing conversation. But you nervous a really high next become scheduled to leave for south by southwest which is an annual conference in Austin that a lot of people have already pulled out of twitter. Facebook have have removed their activation that are ordering their employees to stay home or at least in twitter's case so these are sort of to the minute ongoing conversations that yeah it's there have been more relaxing times. I can say Matt. Donnelly is a senior film writer at Variety Matt. Thanks so much for coming back on the show thank you John. Stay healthy coming up on the frame. Hillary Clinton has a lot to say in a four part documentary about her. Gee I wonder why. Hulu scheduled it to drop this week. A new four hour documentary series about former first lady. Us Senator and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton premiered in January at the Sundance Film Festival. It's called Hillary. And it debuts on Hulu on March sixth filmmaker Ninette Burstein combined behind the scenes footage from the two thousand sixteen campaign with new interviews to tell the story of Clinton's personal and professional life. I spoke with Clinton and bursting in front of an audience at Sundance Director of Hillary net-bursting truly remarkable subject Secretary Hillary Rodham Clinton Hillary Nets pitch was to interview you and other people who worked on the campaign and are close to the campaign and close to you. What was the story that you wanted to tell through those interviews that maybe the footage couldn't tell you know John? I HAVE TO TAKE MY MIND BACK TO WIN. Nat basically proposed making this bigger than the campaign and really focusing on my life but using my life as a springboard into the women's Movement our political system and these other themes and I obviously knew I'd be interviewed. I was interviewed for thirty five hours. But you know she had free rein to interview. Anybody would interview with her. And so you'll see people literally that I grew up with or that I went to high school or college or law school or their colleagues and then a lot of people that she chose to interview to fill in the story. So I I was On board were there certain people that were hard to get to go on camera? And who would you put at the top of that list and even within that list? Who are the people that really presented you with the greatest challenge in terms of how you're going to ask difficult questions? Well the hardest people to get. Were all of the conservative voices We went out to thirty forty people that overlapped with Secretary Clinton's life from the nineties onward from Newt Gingrich's Lindsay grant even more moderate politicians like Susan Collins Olympia snow and these just all said no and I would follow up to because I'm not very good at taking no as an answer and like for example Newt Gingrich really really wanted to include his voice or whatever you know however interesting that would have been because he was a big part of her time as first lady and being on the opposition and leading that charge. So I you know. We sent a letter formerly and his sister does PR and they very diplomatically. Said no and then someone gave me a cell phone number and I called him and I couldn't believe he picked up. I was like Oh hello. You're you don't know who I am. You know this number but and then I just launched into my pitch. And he's like. Oh yeah no I know. I know you're you're offer was and he said I would rather stick a needle in my eye. I said okay. I don't think there's a lot of convincing to be done now. Hillary there's so many slights in this film leading to death from one. Thousand paper cuts the little things that are said in passing that seem in isolation terrible but in cumulation horrific and. That's the idea of how women law students were treated at Yale. The judge who as you twirl around while you're at the podium? There's a line that Chris Matthews has that I won't even dignify repeating a TV announcer calls. You the ambitious Yuppie from hell all of those little things over the course of a documentary to me very lasting impact of what is casually said but as so hurtful. You're right John and I think ninette did a masterful job of weaving that in because again. It's not just about me. And the relentless belittling and demeaning and dismissing is often either ignored or absorbed in a way that you don't fully appreciate the impact of as you move through your life so one of my concerns. Is You know you have to develop such tough skin? You don't want to be battered and hurt broken by a constant belittlement. But you also don't want to be so impervious that you hand absorb whatever. Legitimate criticism might be coming your way so very early on. I kind of developed this mantra to take criticism seriously but not personally That doesn't include the harassment and the insults. Because that's a different category but a lot of the language that is still used today About women in the public arena has the same impact. And I just hope that this I hope that this documentary as people watch it will spark conversations like the one. We're having so that it's not off limits to say. Wait a minute why. Why is this still part of the Ongoing dialogue about women's roles and women's rights. And of course. I think we're going through a real backlash so I think the conversation is even more important. I don't want to quote Bart Simpson in such a serious conversation. But I'm going to Bart Simpson. Says he's didn't make this up damned if you do damned if you don't and there's a moment in the fourth episode where you're not Bait and donald trump is stalking you. He's physically behind you and the document you've say in real time that you're aware that he standing behind you and as you're speaking about some very important issue you're playing out all these scenarios. What would happen if I turn around? I can't because this is how we'll play. But what have I nor him? This is how we'll play and that seems to be a constant theme throughout the documentary. That if you go one direction people criticize you for doing that. Another group of people criticize you for not to win that your stock at so many points in your life that any decision is going to have a polarizing effect. Yeah because you know that we're polarizing. I think about it a lot because clearly. It's often the way that I'm described. Is Newt Gingrich described as polarizing? He may be described as a lot of things. But he's hardly ever described as polarizing. And you know I've looked at these political leaders predominantly on the Republican side. And I think what is so polarizing about me? It's a word that is used in practically every interview description that you can imagine so part of the challenge. I think this documentary poses to people is to say well wait a minute you know when I was taking that law school. Admission test that we talk about. I was with a group of young women that I went to college with and we were in this huge lecture hall at Harvard. Because that's where the test was going to be given so we're sitting there waiting for the tests start and the comments that were directed at us. We're not exclusive to me. It was you know. What are you doing here? Why are you taking this test? If you go to law school you'll take place and I won't get a deferment and I'll go to Vietnam and I'll be killed and it'll be your fault. This is before we take the test right and so you know at that point in my life. I didn't respond that I wanted to do well on the test. So put your head down. Do the work. That's all the young women at this one table where we were all sitting together. All did today. I'd say get a life get over it. Who Do you think you are now? That would make me polarizing right so so I think there's so much that we're still working out and the incident. The John Just referred to in that second debate you know I knew exactly what he was doing. You know it was. Alpha male writ large. You WanNa know what a president looks like. This is what a president looks like. Not This woman. Not this girl and I'm GonNa show you how dominant I am and so I'm up there and I'm going okay. I know exactly what he's doing. What do I do do? I turn around and say back off you creep. I'm not intimidated by you. Which I knew would have polarizing effects. It would also raise the issue if she can't handle him how she can handle Vladimir Putin well I would add a heck of a lot better than the current guy so know because I've been in the public eye for a long time but even before I practice law. I tried lawsuits and all that I have worked with and against countless men who come in all sizes and shapes all sorts of hairstyles. And they're judged on who they are but when a woman walks into that arena. Everybody unloads on her every single feeling or reaction that they have about women in the public is so what I did. If you have those of you saw it was do nothing you know just like I did back when I took the law school test. Just do the job and hopefully people will say. Hey you know. I'd rather have somebody who is not acting like that dealing with the serious problems we have in the world coming up on the frame more of my conversation. Hillary Clinton and Ned Person. Let's get back now. My conversation with Hillary Clinton and filmmaker Ninette Burstein the former first lady. Us Senator and Secretary of State is the subject of a four part documentary on Hulu Bill. And Hillary Clinton's complicated marriage is an essential part of the story and I asked her seen why it was important to include it and what challenges. She faced especially while interviewing former president. Bill Clinton. Well I thought it was important for several reasons. I mean one. They Have been partners in many ways for fifty plus years? So part of it was a love story the other thing. We do spend half hour of the series on the impeachment. The Monica Lewinsky incident. And we really. I tried to deal with it very much from a personal perspective and not because there's this salacious interests but because so much of secretary Clinton's life following that was judge in her perception particularly if she was running for office when she was running for Senate when she was running away eight and very much when she was running sixteen. I can't tell you the number of educated Liberal Female Friends of mine who would say to me. Oh I can't vote for her. She didn't leave her husband. Who or what is it like watching that footage of your husband offering up his explanation rationalization for what he did with Monica Lewinsky. And about how? I think it's fair to say that you are paying the price for his sins. Well that's pretty dramatic. I couldn't have done a documentary about my life and not done a documentary about my marriage and Like every marriage I know we've had ups and downs but ours of all played out in public after nineteen ninety two or so you know it was. It was difficult talking about it answering questions. You know that. That is not my favorite way to spend the afternoon but I was Very committed to being as forthcoming as I could be in working with. Ninette and bill was too. I saw you at Brian. Fogel new movie dissident about the murder of dramatic Kashogi and a large part of that movie about social media about how Saudi Arabia controls the country by controlling social media. And it feels like one of the takeaways from this. Documentary is the ways that show. Socially it can be used and misused in an era where facts and lies are almost interchangeable. So when you think about some of the takeaways from documentary and with other movie fresh in your mind how do you see a path through that where we're living in what I think we can call a post factual world where you can post twitter creek twitter accounts that don't represent anybody may actually be created by foreign governments? I think this is one of the most important questions that we all have to try to both face an answer. We are awash in disinformation. And right now I look at the twenty twenty election and I see so much of what happened in two thousand sixteen being repeated but it's more sophisticated than it was in two thousand sixteen I think voter suppression of course going on. But you know the hacking and the weaponization of information the the false information the propaganda. The deep fakes which will come into their own In this election season The not just permission but profiting from False advertising it is incredibly dangerous. And this this is serious stuff and we obviously don't have a government right now that cares about it. In fact they think it advantages them and the tech companies seem unwilling to shoulder the full responsibility in particular facebook. So I'm really worried about where all this leads. Hillary the end of this documentary. And I'm sure a personal story left my wife and I in a spirited debate I found it somewhat pessimistic. She founded optimistic. But in terms of what you think are the takeaways. What do you hope people take away from? An how would you assess that optimistic pessimistic? Take my wife and I. It's Fascinating John. I don't WanNA polarize your family. It's already polarized. Oh well I remain fundamentally optimistic. Because I really can't believe that we're going to destroy the greatest experiment in self government that the world has ever. I just can't believe that and so I don't believe it and therefore wake up everyday thinking. About what more do we need to do to protect what has worked and to fix what has not and so for me. I think there are several takeaways. One I do hope that there is a debate about women's roles and women's lives and the progress we have been making some of the remaining challenges that we face. I also hope it sparks a conversation about our politics. How did we get to the point where we literally cannot make the decisions that will protect our planet create more economic opportunity provide universal health? Care I mean. I think we have a huge existential decision to make this November. And I've said I said it yesterday. I'll say it again. Whoever the Democratic nominee is get behind that person you've got to be committed net-bursting Hillary Clinton thank you. We're sure and you're building your family. Yeah the Documentary Hillary debuts on Hulu on March six and that will do it for today. I'm John Horn. Thanks for listening for back here tomorrow at the Mon Broadcast Center.