GLOW returned to Netflix with its second season featuring a Harvey Weinstein inspired episode on Friday, June 29.
After the immense success of their Glow TV series, featuring The Gorgeous Women of Wrestling, the show’s TV executive approaches Ruth and declares to be a huge fan of her role as the villainous Russian wrestler, Zoya The Destroya. Ruth agrees to have dinner with him to further discuss her career. However, the entire scene at dinner turns out exactly as the real headlines during the Weinstein sexual assault exposé.
Alison Brie, who plays the role of Ruth, recalled her experience as a victim of sexual assault herself. Although the episode was written after the #MeToo movement became prominent worldwide, Brie explained in an interview that ‘it was not written before sexism.’
The 35-year-old actress told Mashable, “Shooting those scenes did bring up some personal feelings for me – which I sort of didn’t expect.”
She continued, “Honestly, when I first read it I was like, ‘Is this scene bad enough? Is he really doing anything bad?’ And then I had to stop and realize, ‘Oh, wow, I’ve been in a lot of bad situations. And I’ve really normalized that kind behavior, even for myself.'”
After the frightful incident with the TV executive, Ruth can be seen quickly exiting the room. Brie, having been placed in a similar situation in Hollywood before, stated, “It was such an admirable moment for Ruth as a character, for me to go like, ‘Good for her – she get’s out of there!'”
According to Glow creator, Liz Flahive, the team wanted to focus on sexual harassment prior the Weinstein case to voice a platform for the girls in environments which were led by men. During an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, she said, “We have the girls in an environment now where they were part of the network, the network was run by men and there was a new power dynamic we could introduce if we wanted to.”
Flahive further explained, “We were definitely emboldened to go further with our story once the Weinstein news broke, but showing that side was always in the foundation for us, given the story that we were telling of actresses in 1985.”
However, Ruth fleeing from the hotel and her sexual assaulter was not all the episode offered its viewers. The network boss ends up punishing the entire show when he takes away their primetime platform and places them at the 2am slot. Expecting some sympathy after the news, Ruth confides in her friend and fellow wrestler, Debbie, and explains everything. Instead of reassuring her, Debbie, portrayed by Betty Gilpin, yells and asks Ruth ‘how can she be so fu*king stupid?’
After an intense back-and-forth argument, Debbie adds, “That is how this business works! Men try sh*t and you have to pretend to like it until you don’t have to anymore.”
Flahive described the 5-minute argument on sexual harassment between two women as ‘interesting’ and ‘complicated’. She added, “The event felt like [the event] and the conversation felt like the thing to grapple with. The conversation between these two women who were both in the industry, who both had different perspectives and experiences, who both had a different experience with success, or lack thereof. That was the meat of it for us.”
In the show, Brie plays a struggling actress who can’t seem to make a break into the movie industry. So, she agrees to take on the role as a female wrestler with tenacity.