What was it like to work for Harvey Weinstein? The Assistant shows the everyday weight of harassment.

Kitty Green's new movie is a smaller, deeper #MeToo portrayal than Bombshell

The Assistant.
(Image credit: Screenshot/YouTube)

Once the #MeToo movement surged into national consciousness with the 2017 allegations against movie producer Harvey Weinstein, it was only a matter of time before it would be incorporated into mainstream Hollywood narratives — and possibly co-opted as a cheap source of currency. That might not be a completely accurate way of describing how the recent movie Bombshell and the recent TV series The Morning Show approach the subject of sexual misconduct. But while Bombshell's story about harassment and abuse at Fox News garnered multiple Oscar nominations and The Morning Show's fictionalized riff on Matt Lauer did well at the Golden Globes, neither of them are being hailed as definitive treatments.

Kitty Green's new movie The Assistant is a smaller, less starry affair. If it's also not a definitive #MeToo document, it's because Green focuses her work too tightly for self-important aspirations. The movie lacks the remove of Bombshell and The Morning Show, both set in the news/infotainment sector of the media world. The Assistant is an indie movie that takes place in the offices of a company that makes indie movies. In other words, it is essentially set at the Weinstein Company, the distributor and production company that Harvey Weinstein ran from 2005 until the New York Times report about his alleged harassment, assault, and rape appeared in 2017.

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Jesse Hassenger

Jesse Hassenger's film and culture criticism has appeared in The Onion's A.V. Club, Brooklyn Magazine, and Men's Journal online, among others. He lives in Brooklyn, where he also writes fiction, edits textbooks, and helps run SportsAlcohol.com, a pop culture blog and podcast.