A new series featuring Cate Blanchett as late anti-feminist and homophobe Phyllis Schlafly is coming from FX on Hulu, and according to the star, the subject matter couldn’t be “more relevant.”
Blanchett’s comments were made last Thursday at the 2020 Television Critics Association winter press tour in Hollywood, where the cable network unveiled a trailer for the upcoming limited series, titled “Mrs. America.” The show documents the fight for women’s rights during the 1970s, and centers on the effort to ratify the Equal Rights Amendment – of which conservative advocate Schlafly was an aggressive opponent.
The Oscar-winning Blanchett, who is also an executive producer on the series, said, “It seemed that every passing day in the development process, and certainly during shooting, right up to Virginia debating the ERA right now, it became like “Groundhog Day.” The literal discussions that were happening during 1971,1972, going through the series, were constantly popping up in the media.”
Her point about the continued relevance of the subject matter was echoed by series creator Dahvi Waller, who said her show serves “as an
origin story of today’s culture wars — you can draw a direct line from 1970 to today through Phyllis Schlafly and really understand how we became such a divided nation.”
Schlalfy, in addition to her vehement anti-feminism, was also known for her stance against LGBTQ rights. She believed passage of the ERA would lead to same-sex marriage and unisex restrooms, and said marriage equality was not “about granting equality of human rights” but “about getting rid of the traditional values and institutions that have guided the Western world, including America.” She lamented the de-criminalization of homosexuality, and said the acceptance of transgender people was “just plain nuts.”
Ironically, Schlafly’s son John came out as gay in a 1992 interview with New York’s QW Magazine.
In addition to Blanchett, “Mrs. America” features Elizabeth Banks, Sarah Paulson, Uzo Aduba, Rose Byrne, Margo Martindale, John Slattery, James Marsden, Jeanne Tripplehorn, and Tracey Ullman.
It premieres April 15 on FX on Hulu. Until then, you can watch the trailer below.