Tracey Ullman says ‘Mrs. America’ unflinchingly explores the complex and messy side of early feminism

Written by on April 23, 2020

Sabrina Lantos/FX (LOS ANGELES) — Many freedoms women enjoy today are due in part to a massive movement in feminism during the 1970s –called the women’s rights movement.  That critical moment in history will be explored in-depth with the new FX/Hulu miniseries Mrs. America on Wednesday.

Tracey Ullman shines as complicated feminist icon Betty Friedan, author of The Feminine Mystique.  She tells ABC Audio that the drama tackles the history of 1970s feminism in a new, exciting way.

“It’s great to see the women women’s side of things during this whole period. It’s so dominated by the men and Nixon and McGovern and Carter,” says Ullman.  “You don’t see the other side in that, the women’s political scene, especially Republican women.”

The 60-year-old actress says that by shining a light on the women who played key roles during the moment — Gloria Steinem, Phyllis Schlafly and Friedan — it also reveals that it wasn’t just a clash of heroes and villains, but also details the complex and messy parts of women’s liberation that history may have glossed over.

“That’s what’s so great about this series. It’s not a liberal bubble show,” gushes Ullman. “You can see women aren’t a monolith. You’ll have differences and different thoughts and feelings and opinions. It really makes it so human.”

And while the women’s rights movement accomplished much in the 1970s, she says there’s still so much more to be done.  For starters, “the ERA still hasn’t ratified,” remarks Ullman. “There’s so much change for women and for gay women. And you know that some women in the workplace, it still is not enough.”

As for why you should watch Mrs. America?  “It’s quality” and “beautifully done,” assures Ullman. 

New episodes of Mrs. America, also starring Cate Blanchett, Rose Byrne and Uzo Aduba, air every Wednesday.

Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

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