The Morning Show, created by Jay Carson and Kerry Ehrin, is an Apple TV drama series starring Jennifer Aniston and Reese Witherspoon. In the show, Aniston plays Alex Levy, a news anchor on a fictional morning news show called The Morning Show. The course of her career changes when her long time co-anchor Mitch Kessler (Steve Carell) gets dismissed from the show for sexual misconduct. The Morning Show is loosely based on real events at The Today Show.
While at first glance the series may appear to be just another Bombshell, the television platform allows for further exploration into the world of broadcast news and television. Especially in today’s world, there is so much speculation as to what media outlets we can trust — if there are any. In case you were unaware before, the show keys us into the fact that the media industry is all about ratings and viewership. The truth about all entertainment — including the news — we often forget, is that it is a business trying to make a profit just like anything else.
For that reason networks will often discriminate. For example, in the series the head of the network Cory Ellison (Billy Crudup) was considering firing Alex in order to hire a younger fresher voice in order to secure better ratings. That is how Bradley Jackson (Reese Witherspoon) became her co-anchor.
Also, the network tries to appear progressive by putting two female anchors on the top spot but is still forgetting about diversity. Daniel Henderson (Desean Terry), an anchor who has been at the Morning Show far longer than Bradley is only a weekend anchor, why? Because he is black.
Aside from discrimination, another theme shown in the series is false branding. The Morning Show brand is happy, upbeat and against racism and sexual misconduct, yet the truth of the matter is, the staff is miserable and all aware that the set is not the inclusive environment it appears to be.
Lastly, the show reported heavily on the Harvey Weinstein story yet refuses to acknowledge the misconduct happening at their own network — including keeping a young woman quiet about her uncomfortable encounter with Mitch Kessler by offering her a better job and almost costing executive producer Chip Black (Mark Duplass) his.
The Morning Show is an excellent depiction of corruption in the media exploring everything from sexual misconduct and discrimination to false branding and more. I highly recommend watching the show if you haven’t already.
The Morning Show is available to stream on Apple TV.
By Blair Krassen @blairlyawake