BRONX, NY- On October 28, 2016, Amazon released the first season of Good Girls Revolt. Genevieve Angelson (Patti), Anna Camp (Jane), and Erin Darke (Cindy) captivated viewers as they fought for gender equality in the workplace. Five weeks later, to the dismay of many women, the show was cancelled by Amazon Studios. In my opinion, Good Girls Revolt was becoming the feminist movement needed in a time where a controversial man is set to take over the White House.
Erin Darke told the Washington Post in a recent interview that “It seems like now, more than ever, we need stories like this. Stories about women finding strength and community. Stories about standing up for equality.”
Based on Lynn Povich’s book with the same title, Good Girls Revolt revolves around the class-action gender discrimination case against Newsweek in the 1970s. Povich and 45 other women won the groundbreaking case, yet women are still being degraded almost four decades later. The series also explores the themes of racism, addiction, domestic violence, reproductive rights, sexism, and misogyny.
Why axe a show that makes such a powerful statement for women? Dana Calvo, the executive producer for the series, believes the Amazon Studios CEO, Roy Price, simply wasn’t a fan of the show. According to Forbes magazine, Calvo explains that Price “did not even know the characters’ names. Also, no women were present in making the decision to cancel the show.” Amazon Studios said Good Girls Revolt was not performing well with ratings, but Symphony Advanced Media Service contradicts this statement. “Good Girls Revolt had twice as many viewers as Transparent.” Calvo says.
Misogyny could be at play here, and most of it could be influenced by President-Elect Donald Trump. It cannot be a simple coincidence that after Hillary Clinton was defeated, Price gave the series a big “no.” President-Elect Trump is against everything women stand for, which makes this era no different than the problems women faced in the 70s.
If there are any characters women can relate to most within Good Girls Revolt, it is Cindy. Cindy goes through the struggle of an unhappy marriage, which leads to the use of contraceptives. (Spoiler alert!) Cindy catches her husband poking holes into her diaphragm. First use of the oral pill began in 1970, with support from the feminist movement. This past Friday, Speaker of House Paul Ryan announced the defunding of Planned Parenthood as part of the Obamacare repeal bill. More than 400,000 women will be without proper cancer screenings, birth control, and other essential health services. Planned Parenthood has helped millions of women from low income families and has helped educate them in the various methods of birth control.
The feminist movement in the 1970s also began the cultural awakening for women everywhere. In Good Girls Revolt, conscious meetings are held in the home of a feisty African American woman named Eleanor. She assists the three protagonists in discovering their independence as writers and leaders. She becomes the backbone of the revolt itself. Elanor also represents many African Americans who felt the racial tensions in New York City even after segregation was abolished with the Civil Rights Act in 1964. The Black Panthers also play a huge role in the series.
The cancellation is an insult to women in many ways. It was the perfect feminist show to inspire women to stay strong during the next four years. Patti, Cindy, and Jane fought through political and social issues. It is now 2017, and those problems continue. Even if women were present for the meeting where Calvo presented season two to Price, the choice was clear: women cannot be seen as independent and strong, especially in media. Sony Pictures Television is currently shopping for another network to take on Good Girls Revolt. The cast even started a hashtag on social media, #SaveGoodGirlsRevolt, to get the show a second season. We can only hope their voices will be heard. Until then, the revolt for equal pay and other feminist battles continues.
Killoran, Ellen. “Good Girls Revolt Creator: Amazon Studios Head Roy Price Didn’t Like Cancelled Series.” Forbes.com, 12 December, 2016. www.forbes.com.
Butler, Bethonie. “Good Girls Revolt star on the series cancellation: ‘Now than ever, we need stories like this.’ WashingtonPost.com, 8 December, 2016. www.washingtonpost.com
Thompson, Kirsten M.J. “A Brief History of Birth Control in the U.S.” OurBodiesOurselves.org. 14 December, 2013. www.ourbodiesourselves.org
Bendery, Jennifer. “Paul Ryan: We’ll Defund Planned Parenthood In Our Obamacare Repeal Bill, Too.” HuffingtonPost.com. 5 January, 2017. www.huffingtonpost.com
Last Updated: December 29, 2021