The Morning Show (2019) s01e02 Episode Script

A Seat at the Table

1 [PANTS.]
Fred, what happened? [ALARM BEEPS.]
[ALEX.]
Good morning.
Mitch Kessler, my cohost and partner of 15 years, was fired today for sexual misconduct.
My on-air partner, my TV husband, is a sexual predator now? I didn't rape anybody! [PANTING, GRUNTS.]
[CLAIRE.]
Hannah, you said you were looking for stories about strong women tomorrow.
Well, check this out.
Yeah? [HANNAH.]
You know you have over a million views on your video? We wanna interview you about why the video is going viral.
The Morning Show? I'm exhausted! You seem a lot more relaxed today.
Yeah, well, this is a whole lot nicer than a coal mine protest, I'm not gonna lie.
I think people want to trust that the person that is telling them the truth about the world is an honest person.
This is Cory Ellison.
I'm the president of the UBA network.
How would you like to come and meet me for a drink and talk about your future? Alex, they were going to replace you.
- What? - He came to me.
They said they wanted to make a change.
I don't believe you.
[MUSIC ENDS.]
[AUDIENCE CHEERING.]
[SINGING ROCK BALLAD.]
Bradley Jackson.
Thank you so much for coming to meet me on such short notice.
Come on.
You're the head of two divisions of a network.
You don't have to pretend to appreciate me dropping everything to show up.
- [CORY CHUCKLES.]
Mmm.
- You expect that, right? I'll have bourbon on the rocks.
Thanks.
So, what's this about? Late night meeting at a hotel Oh.
[LAUGHS.]
No, you see, sorry, I'm one of those strange guys who only likes sleeping with women who are actually attracted to him.
So, no, I'm not hitting on you.
- You see that woman over there? - Yeah.
That's Cecily.
She's my New York assistant.
I'm sleeping with her.
Okay.
That was a joke.
Ha-ha.
I'm not worried.
I don't scare easily.
- Well, that's abundantly clear.
- Thank you.
- Thank you.
- I guess they know you here.
Yeah, I come here a lot.
So, Bradley, what is your story? - My story? - Yeah.
Who knows? I mean, it's probably the same as a lot of people's stories.
Kid grows up in the country around a bunch of cows and cornfields and dreams of a life that's less about manure and more about ideas, things that matter.
Only to grow up and realize manure matters a whole lot.
Actually, I don't think that's the same as a lot of stories at all.
- What's your story? - Um I'm probably not supposed to ask you questions 'cause you're technically important, but What the hell? You know? Wow, being "technically important" is about the best description of a network executive I've ever heard.
What is my story? Smart kid, dad left, I took care of my mom, I vowed to own the world one day and kick everyone's ass into submission.
How's that working out for you? Pretty well, actually.
Well, cheers to that.
Hell, yeah.
So, what do you want from me? Do you treat every business meeting like you're being interrogated by an enemy camp? If you're even a little smart, you know that's what all business meetings are.
Then why aren't you further along in your career at this point, if you're so savvy? "At this point"? You mean I'm too old to be the young, feisty journalist? I should have landed somewhere more substantial by now? Maybe.
You're incredibly smart, you're interesting, you've got that "it" thing we're always looking for in this business.
What is it? What's held you back? I don't know.
I mean, probably what you see as something "fresh" in me is probably what held me back.
I don't think like other people.
I say whatever I mean.
I don't play games.
I don't fit the mold.
What mold is that? Any mold, really.
Oh, right.
A weirdo.
- What? - I don't mean that in a bad way.
You just wanted to meet me in person to see if I was crazy or not.
I can see why you do good interviews.
Thanks, I do.
So, aside from wondering if you were crazy, here's the other reason that I wanted to meet you: I think we might be able to use you as a field correspondent on The Morning Show.
What, you might be able to? Well, I've looked into your past a little bit.
- You have moved jobs a lot.
- Yeah.
You have a bit of a colorful local history Okay, Two-Fucks Jackson is I can explain that "Two-Fucks" what? - What? - What? No, I said it first.
No, I was just kidding.
I definitely wanna hear about Two-Fucks Jackson.
But right now right now I'm just trying to decide if I should give you a chance.
I wanna use this Mitch Kessler scandal to reinvent ourselves.
I want smart people with fresh perspectives.
Are you offering me a job right now? Well, I don't wanna step on my producer's toes, but I have arranged a meeting for you with Charlie Black tomorrow.
He's the executive producer of The Morning Show.
- I know who he is.
- Course you do.
Can you be ready for a 9:30 meeting tomorrow morning? I can do that.
- Good.
- Mm.
Thank you for this.
That's it? I don't get to hear about Two-Fucks Jackson? Another night.
I gotta start prepping.
I take my work really seriously.
- I knew I liked you.
- Hey.
You don't know me.
[SIGHS.]
[ELEVATOR BELL DINGS.]
[GASPS.]
Jason.
What are you doing here? You cannot just come over like this anymore.
Alex, for fuck's sake, I have had our daughter on the phone, freaking out, asking if I know where you are.
Okay, well, here I am.
I'm home, and I'm fine.
I'll call Lizzy, and I'll tell her that I'm fine.
Thank you.
Where have you been? I was just I couldn't sleep.
I couldn't sleep, so I just went for a walk in the park.
[SCOFFS.]
You went for a walk in the park in the middle of the night? - Yeah.
- In the rain? Well - What is going on with you, Alex? - What - Are you okay? - Yes.
I'm okay.
I went for a walk in the middle of the night.
When else can I go for a walk in the park without anybody bothering me? Why are you looking at me like that? I Please, I've had the worst day of my life.
I haven't had a chance to process anything.
So I went for a fucking walk.
- Okay, okay.
Good.
Yes.
- It's fine.
I will see you tomorrow night for the event.
The fucking event.
Yes.
I'm looking forward to it as well.
- Are you? - Yeah.
Good night.
[SNORING.]
[SNORING CONTINUES.]
[MITCH SIGHS.]
[GROANS.]
[SIGHS.]
[SIGHS.]
[BEEPS.]
[RAPIDLY BEEPING.]
[CLATTERING.]
[MUTTERS.]
[SOBBING.]
Okay.
[CLATTERING.]
Oh, fuck.
[BEEPS.]
[MACHINE WHIRS.]
Oh, God.
[CRYING.]
I pushed all your calls because after the show you'll meet with the UBA PR team to review your speech for tonight.
- They reviewed that last week.
- It's from Fred's office.
Can't wait to see you get that award.
I just got a new dress for it.
I can't wait to see it.
Hair and makeup at your house at 3:00.
I put it in your calendar.
I don't care if it came from Fred's office.
I know what I wanna say, and I don't need them rewriting it today.
Please go call them.
You can't blame them for being a little nervous about your speech.
This is the first time you're in public since this whole thing happened.
Wait.
What? You mean you think accepting an award for leadership in journalism two days after my cohost of 15 years is fired for predatory behavior is touchy? That event is gonna be a roomful of vultures waiting for you to fuck up Why are you stressing me out like this? Honestly.
Why don't you just give me a stroke by 7:00? Then I won't have to go.
I need to get out of this! - I understand.
But I - [PHONE BUZZING.]
- I need this.
- Okay.
[GREG GROANS.]
Hey, Sarah.
Did you call me at 4:00 this morning? I just woke up and saw this message flashing.
Yeah.
Okay I need to ask you something.
In your opinion, the way that the network has been dragging their feet on closing my new deal does that suggest anything unusual going on? Like what? Um, like, um them trying to replace me? Or thinking about replacing me? Well, it's never a good thing.
But it doesn't necessarily mean anything like that.
The good news is you have them by the short hairs now.
They need you in a big way.
Mm-hmm.
Okay, you gotta get that deal closed.
And I want every single thing we asked for.
Are you all right? I'm fine.
I'm fine.
Why does everyone keep asking me that? I just want what I asked for.
And the most important thing is cohost approval.
Sarah, I just need to be able to control the narrative so that I'm not written out of it.
Alex, why are you afraid of this all of a sudden? It's just a feeling.
But it is really, really important.
Cohost approval.
You gotta push that through.
And I mean it.
Get that.
And I wanna hear the minute that you hear back from them and not when you feel that I can hear it.
Okay? Okay.
[EXHALES.]
Yeah.
Right.
I never sent a message that I thought was inappropriate.
These women who have come forward did think it was inappropriate.
Do you think that that's valid? Do you think their response is valid? [SIGHS.]
Of course.
But these women never complained to me about this behavior.
Yes, but you were their boss.
You were in a position of authority.
Do you think that you created an environment where they felt comfortable coming forward? [KNOCKING.]
Hey.
What are you No, no.
- We can't do this here.
- But, Daddy, I want it now.
- Come on, no.
- Give it to me, Daddy.
- Please, Daddy.
- Come on, no Veruca Salt today.
Not here.
- Come on.
- Give me what I want.
Give me - Oh! [MOANS.]
- Claire.
- You don't get to say no, remember? - Claire, please.
You want me to stop, you're gonna have to use the safe word.
Okay, "climate change.
" Huh.
- You are serious.
- I am.
I'm dead serious.
All right? [CLAIRE MOANS.]
Okay.
Come on.
No locked doors, okay? You know how bad that would look with you Couldn't we be having a private conversation? - Come on.
- You know, I need advice about my career.
You don't need a locked door for that.
You don't need a locked door except for one thing.
You know you and I are something different from Right? I know that, and you know that.
Nobody else would know that.
Come on, we have to be so fucking careful.
Or we go to HR right now and just tell 'em.
Well, that would be mortifying.
I mean, what would it look like? You mean that I'm having a serious relationship with a woman half my age who is the PA? You think that might seem bad? What are you saying? [KNOCKING.]
- Hey.
What's up? Good morning.
- Morning.
- You ready for me? - Yeah, of course.
Come on in.
Come on and get Thank you.
You can leave that here.
Oh, yeah.
Of course.
Thanks for researching the volcano info.
I really appreciate that.
Yeah, cool.
Let me know if anything else erupts that you need me to do research on.
- Will do.
You got it.
- Good.
But more importantly, and most importantly, we want to ensure a safe working environment for everyone who works on The Morning Show.
No one here knew what was going on right under our noses.
The next few weeks are gonna be rough.
We are clearly in triage.
We need to be stabilized by the time sweeps start.
That's in - Three weeks.
- Right.
I won't lie to you, we are in a bad place.
Jobs, the show, the network itself literally hang in the balance.
- It's not, though.
- These guys, Your Day, America Dangerously close to us in the ratings.
And that isn't bullshit, that is ad money.
Ad money that supports this network, supports your jobs supports your families.
We're gonna be working round the clock at the network to find America's new family, and I expect all and everything from each one of you in the meantime.
Great, thank you so much, Fred.
All right, everybody, let's get to it.
[CHATTERING.]
Where are we with her deal? She's holding on cohost approval.
But we're handling it.
Jesus.
She's delusional.
Start putting together a list of names, men who can sit next to Alex for now and also work with someone younger once she's gone.
Maybe a couple of women too, for optics in case it leaks.
Couple of days ahead of you.
The list is already in progress.
Anything else? You know, when you were assigned the news division, we didn't know we would be facing the biggest crisis in our history.
Some people would say maybe you should have.
I know what you're doing.
The fact that you just started here doesn't give you the leverage you think.
I'm not looking for leverage, Fred, I'm just stating the obvious.
It would have been better if we knew, so we could have stopped it.
But we didn't know.
Right? Right.
- Fucker.
- Hey, I got something good.
Yeah? What's up? I got some insider info.
YDA booked one of Mitch's victims for next week.
- Who? - Ashley Brown.
Ashley in sound tech? Jesus, it's been a while.
You think you can get her back here after all that? I'm gonna pull out all the stops.
I know this is huge for us.
You have no idea what I already did to get this info.
You know what? Please don't tell me that.
I really don't want Okay, fine.
I found it in a fortune cookie.
Sorry.
You're right.
This is obviously huge.
YDA can't be booking one of our victims for a million fucking reasons.
Do whatever you have to do.
I'm on it, boss.
- Rena.
- Yes? Where is today's schedule? I'm looking for it You mean this one that says "today's schedule"? - Yes.
Fuck you very much.
- No problem.
Thank you.
"Seven" Why are we doing this in sev Rena, can you get Mia? Only seven fucking minutes to do this Hey, how you hanging in there? Um, I can't feel my body I'm so stressed out.
I'm like a brain floating in space with a phone in my hand.
That sounds about right.
Listen, I want you to meet Bradley Jackson today.
Wait.
Bradley Jackson who did the show yesterday? What the hell for? We're gonna be grooming some new people, trying different things.
It is a good time to start grooming some new people, and I think she'd be a good correspondent, possibly.
Yeah.
No, I understand it's always good to be grooming people, but I mean, right now? Plus, you saw her viral video, right? I mean, a correspondent? I don't I did see it.
I saw it, and so did five million other people, because it was incredibly fucking entertaining.
She also went toe-to-toe with Alex Levy.
Not easy to do.
We need to open our minds, Chipper.
Come on.
What's worked in the past isn't working now.
My office set it for 9:30.
Let me know how it goes.
- Great.
- Good.
[PHONE BUZZING.]
Yep.
No.
Push back.
No coanchor approval.
It's never gonna happen.
No.
We're still on schedule.
I'm gonna get your car to take you for your mani-pedi.
- Okay, good.
- You like Julie, right? - Yeah, she's fine.
- She does great work.
And is Lizzy all set for after school? Yes, she is.
She's gonna meet you there and she's very excited.
Okay, good.
- Last looks! - Hi, good morning.
Revised pages.
Here.
- Sarah calling.
Now? No? - Thank you.
- Sorry? - Here's Sarah.
Oh, yes, now.
Sorry.
Thank you.
Hey, Sarah, I'm just about to go on air.
Did they cave? No.
They're sticking to their guns.
No cohost approval.
I'm gonna call you back after the show.
Can you hold that? Alex, where are you going? Alex, do you need something? - Is everything okay? - I'm all good.
- Okay, well, he can't go from - Hey.
What are you doing? We're live in 90 seconds.
I need to talk to Chip.
I need to talk to you.
What is happening? 'Cause you're supposed to be on the air in, like, a minute.
- Yeah, listen.
Hey, hey - What? I need your word that you will wrap up my negotiation.
I know you're scared, okay.
The whole Mitch thing has turned everything upside down Can I Why does no one get this? The Mitch days They're over, all right? I would like hands-on control from this point on.
- I want cohost approval.
- Mm-hmm.
Otherwise, I'm not going on the air.
Let's walk to the stage.
We'll just walk.
- We can walk.
- We'll walk, okay? But I'm not going on air unless you promise me.
- Can I explain something to you? - Sure.
You pulling this stunt, with the network right now, is not gonna make them promise you anything.
It's gonna make them think you are fucking losing it.
Well, maybe you have to lose it sometimes to get people to take you seriously.
I've known you 15 years, Chip.
We came up the ranks together.
For better, for worse.
Lately it's been for worse, but whatever.
You are the only person that I know that can push this through for me.
And I know if you promise me, you'll do it.
So, you've gotta promise me, Chip.
Thirty seconds, guys.
I am trying to protect you, but you are putting me in an impossible situation.
I can't promise you I can push this through! I can't.
I just You got Alison and Yanko.
Let them go on.
I'm not going on.
And I don't want you to protect me, I'd like you to respect me.
What, did you read this on a card? What are you Twenty seconds.
I'm ready to fill in.
- There, Alison.
There you go.
- No.
[WHISPERING.]
They're They're gonna think you are crazy.
I'm not going on air.
Ten seconds.
- [CHIP TAPPING FEET.]
- Nine eight seven All right, I promise Fine, fine! Go! Sit, butt in chair! Five, four, three, two Good morning.
I'm Alex Levy.
And I'm Daniel Henderson.
And here are our top stories.
[ELEVATOR BELL DINGS.]
Hey, Bradley Jackson.
Uh, have a meeting with Charlie Black.
Does he go by Chip, or Charlie, or? Well, Charlie is his professional name, but he does go by Chip.
Okay, okay.
Well, then I have a meeting with Charlie Chip.
[RECEPTIONIST CHUCKLES.]
Hey.
Hey, Chip, you looking for me? Uh, yeah.
Can you walk with me? Second day in the anchor chair, I think it went pretty well.
I'm really excited about The Twist today.
- Can I give you some advice? - Sure.
- There are opportunities opening up here.
- Yeah.
You know what Mitch had going for him? He was that guy you didn't mind being stuck at the DMV next to, you know.
Easygoing, light touch, smart, yes, but easy.
Now, I think you're great.
Probably the best real journalist we have in the building.
But I overheard you having this debate in the hall.
I know how you feel about the Gilmore Girls musical being neo-pro-life rights propaganda, and I get it.
All I'm gonna say is, don't fucking say it.
That shit is not gonna get you the coanchor chair, okay? You got a lot going for yourself in this race.
The brass is looking at everybody closely.
Don't ruin it for yourself by being too serious, okay? Try being a little softer.
A little more accessible, you know? You telling me to be less black? Jesus, that's what you just heard? Really, Daniel? - That's basically what you're saying.
- Fuck You don't even know you're saying it.
This is what I had to deal with my whole life.
Don't be smarter than other people.
Don't come off too strong, too opinionated.
Daniel, that's not being black.
It's being fucking Morning Show, Daniel, okay? Jesus, I'm on your side here.
This has nothing to do with you being black.
- That's what you guys always say.
- [PHONE BUZZING.]
Shit, okay.
You know what? Just do yourself a favor tonight at the event.
Press the flesh.
Schmooze the executives.
Pretend you're the dad that everybody wants and don't go after the beloved Gilmore Girls.
Hey, hey, this chair could be yours.
Okay? - I hear you.
- Thank you.
- Thank you.
Thank you.
- You're welcome.
You're welcome.
Yes.
The coal woman is here.
Jesus.
Do we have to do this meeting right now? Like I don't have a million more important things to do.
Is Cory Ellison fucking this woman or Fucking waste of time.
That's it.
I wanna thank you for taking the time to see me.
I know you've got a lot going on.
Sure, it's no problem.
Not busy at all.
- Ah, I looked at your reel.
It was good.
- Thank you.
I noticed you have moved around last couple of years.
Three years at SENN, then BDC six months before that Yeah, yeah.
I understand.
I've been some places.
But really, I'm looking for a platform where I can get my ideas across.
- Speaking of which, I brought some today - Wait, I'm sorry.
What do you mean ideas? I've worked up some stories I think would be good for The Morning Show.
I'm sorry.
I'm maybe a little confused.
You're interviewing to be a correspondent, right? Not a producer.
'Cause correspondents normally just present the ideas that producers wrote.
Yeah, I like to do my own producing, and I think I have some stories that would do really well on TMS.
So, why don't I just jump in? Sure, yeah.
Okay.
So, there's a mom-and-pop store in Chicago.
It's about to be replaced by a Target.
The historical society is trying to block it.
But here's the twist.
The mom and the pop are angry at the historical society because they're getting in the way of them amassing a small fortune.
So, I have a source on the inside that can tell me It's okay.
I get the concept.
[KNOCKING.]
Okay, well, college admissions.
Not the diversity angle Fuck me.
[RENA SCOFFS.]
- Sorry.
- College admissions.
But not the diversity angle, the money angle.
No.
No? Okay, um You know, right here in New York City they are trying to dedicate a memorial to the immigrants who died in the Triangle Fire in 1911.
And the thing about dedicating it this summer You said 1911? Yeah, that's when it happened, 1911.
Okay.
I don't know how to say this without being rude, but you're wasting your time here.
Your stories aren't right for us.
It's not even ostensibly what you're here to discuss anyway, so The stories aren't right for you? I'm [CHUCKLES.]
I'm sorry.
Were you even listening? 'Cause you look like you were distracted the entire time.
You didn't even ask me a question.
How are they not right for you? Are you You're being serious right now? Yeah.
Okay.
They're not interesting.
This meeting is over.
Oh.
You mean they're not interesting to you? - Have you seen your show lately, sir? - Please.
I'm sorry, but this week alone, I think I saw twins who met on Bumble, a woman got busted for selling fake emotional support animal licenses.
And how many ice-cream flavors are there really? Need I go on? No, you need to leave.
- Your show sucks.
- Thank you! Thank you.
It's barely news.
You have downgraded it to try and get some of the Your Day, America audience, to your own detriment.
You really think this is gonna help you get a job? The stories that I brought you are good.
They're human, they're political, they're engaging.
The Triangle Fire story is so timely right now, with immigration issues that are going on.
I'm sorry if lives of teenage immigrant girls burning alive in a sweatshop holds no current value to you, but it might lead you to do an actual news story about the sweatshops that exist all over the city right now.
But God forbid you do that at Morning Show.
It's not feel-good bad news, is it? You want me to call security? That's what you want me to do? - Why? Are you scared of me? - I want you to leave! You know what? People like you are the reason broadcast news is what it is.
Thanks for your time, Chip Charlie Chip.
Whatever your fuckin' name is.
You sound like an ice-cream flavor.
Hey, why don't you put that in your hard news exposé? [LAUGHS.]
What the fuck? [SOBS.]
[MITCH SIGHS.]
I'm gonna be straight with you, Mitch.
Financially, this is gonna be tough.
It's okay.
It's fine.
I can tighten my belt a little It kind of goes beyond that.
UBA is not going to pay out the rest of your contract.
- They said that? - Yes.
Legal sent a violation of contract document this morning that made it very clear.
How can I be in violation of my contract? It was consensual.
- All I can say is that for the - Lisa, it was consensual.
For the foreseeable future, you're not gonna have any income.
Okay.
All right.
Well, what do you propose I do? You're gonna have to start making choices.
You got the Southampton house, the Aspen property, your New York apartment.
Which I'm not giving up that apartment.
You could probably keep it going at this level for two years, tops.
How is that even possible? I've made more money than God.
Right? God didn't violate his morals clause.
Morals clause, really? Oh, wow! Fuck.
That.
What a crock of shit.
Morals clause! These people back up the Brinks truck and give you everything that you've always wanted except for one thing: there's gonna be a morals clause in your contract.
Okay.
Well, you're not an idiot.
And everybody's telling you they won't trigger it.
They never trigger it.
That's not even They're just covering their asses.
And these guys? You've known them forever.
You have worked with them.
And they more than approve of your behavior.
It's fine with them, as is evidenced by the fact that they just gave you the most lucrative deal in the history of morning news.
And you don't want to be that guy who says, "No, take the morals clause out, then I'll sign it," 'cause that sends a bad message.
You know what a morals clause is? It's a moving fucking target! It's anything they want it to be! Yeah? It's as the wind blows.
Oh, wow.
[SIGHS.]
Mitch, I'm your business manager, not your lawyer.
[LAUGHS.]
Morals clause.
Morals clause.
Rapist! What did you say to me? What did you call me? Don't walk away from me.
You're calling me a ra? I'm not even accused of rape.
Sexual misconduct is what I'm being accused of.
Don't you wave your fucking hand at me! Have a nice day, you fucking asshole.
Yes? Hi, Ashley.
I'm Hannah Shoenfeld.
I'm with The Morning Show.
Don't worry.
It's nothing bad.
We think it's great you want to tell your story.
Then why are you here? Can I come in? I promise I'll be real quick.
- I really don't think that's a good idea.
- Five minutes.
You can time me.
Look, you have a story to tell.
The entire country needs to hear it, and we want to give you the platform.
On The Morning Show? Yes.
Why would I ever go back there? That place is The scene of the crime.
I know.
And going back, that takes real fucking courage.
Which you have.
Or you wouldn't be speaking out in the first place.
Look, I find stories for a living.
That's what I do.
And when I look at you, I can see that story.
The brave woman knocked back by a powerful man, reclaiming her power on national TV.
But if you go on YDA, that's not the story that'll be told.
Yes, it is.
It doesn't matter where I tell it.
I am done with this conversation.
I'm not going back there.
Do I have to call security? Fine.
I'll leave.
But it does matter where you tell it.
You're making a huge mistake.
Why? Because this is television, not a women's studies seminar at Vassar.
A lot of people watching are gonna have ignorant, knee-jerk reactions.
How you tell the story is the whole fucking ball game.
And if you do it on YDA, you'll be the angry woman.
Why? Because YDA's our enemy, and everyone who watches these shows knows it.
They'll see you as a bitch, scorned by a powerful network, rejected by a powerful man, bitter about her career, her life, looking for a payback, desperate to hurt the people who hurt her, manipulated by a rival show that just wants to fuck over their opponent, trotted out like a piece of meat, and then discarded when you aren't needed anymore.
And then it's done, and nobody cares.
On to the next story.
No, I can't do this.
I mean, I shouldn't be doing this at all.
Yes, you should.
But if you are gonna do it if you are gonna blow the whistle on Mitch Kessler for being the predator he is you have to have the balls to do it in his own house.
It won't mean anything otherwise.
Come on The Morning Show.
Come back to the killing floor.
Show everyone you have the nerve but especially him.
[ELEVATOR BELL DINGS.]
Thanks.
[PHONE BUZZING.]
- Hello? - Hello, Bradley.
This is Cecily from Cory Ellison's office.
Cory would like for you to be at the Leadership in Journalism event tonight.
It's black-tie.
That's really nice, but I'm headed to the airport.
We'll take care of rearranging your flight.
A car will pick you up at your hotel.
Okay, I didn't pack anything I could wear to a black-tie event.
We're sending a few gowns over.
Okay, Cecily, I'm confused.
I had a meeting with Chip Charlie Black, and it did not go well.
I'm pretty sure he's not hiring me.
All I know is Cory asked me to call you.
So, between you and me, I'd show up.
Okay, yeah.
I'll be there.
Fantastic.
[CAMERA SHUTTERS CLICKING.]
[REPORTER.]
Go around the side.
Get the shot.
Come out this side.
- [REPORTER 2.]
Why are you here? - [REPORTER 3.]
Is he going back on air? [REPORTER 2.]
What's the latest news on Mitch? Hey, Mitch.
To what do I owe this pleasure? Is it already time for my chemical castration? No, I got that slotted in for next Thursday.
Oh, yeah.
Maybe we can fit it in between my tar and feathering and being burnt at the stake.
[SCOFFS.]
You got it.
And by the way, fuck you.
Mitch, you gotta stop calling reporters.
Looks like somebody got an illegal wiretap kit for Christmas.
No, somebody got slipped the information that Mitch Kessler has been calling reporters all over New York City looking for someone to tell his side of the story.
What the fuck, Mitch? I mean, you know you can't do that.
You're toxic, and you're gonna be for a while, so How long do I have to sit around while I take my punishment like a man? I don't know.
I don't know what the half-life is on this, but it's not a day.
It's years.
So, you need to hibernate.
I have covered enough of these stories over the past couple of years to know that when the Me Too mob comes knocking at your door you have two choices.
You can either be contrite and cry puddles of crocodile tears and pray till you're blue in the balls that it'll just magically disappear, or you can fight back.
And that's what I intend to do, Chip.
I think that's my best course of action.
I'm going to hire a new attorney, I'm going to get my face out there, and I'm not gonna hide in shame.
It's gonna work.
Do not show your face tonight.
Do not do that to Alex.
My tux is pressed.
- I can't unpress my tux.
- Yeah.
So, I'm going.
And those goddamn two-faced New York reporters I'm gonna walk in there and look those motherfuckers in their beady little eyes, and I'm gonna say, "I'm here.
I can see you.
" Mm-hmm.
Yeah, that's suicide.
And by the way, did I see you yelling at some woman on the street? Because it's on Twitter.
You can't fucking do this shit, man! I have to fight back! I'm not going to let somebody slander me again in public.
I get it! You're angry! You're upset! You're defensive, okay? But I'm telling you, you are way too emotionally volatile to walk in there and make a convincing argument, okay? And you need to drop this innocent act, at least in front of me.
I am as innocent as any straight, middle-aged man there is.
The only problem is, that seems to be illegal these days.
This is McCarthyism, you know it.
Everybody knows it but people just don't have the intestinal fortitude to say it out loud.
I'll say it.
We're being too fast to judge men in the court of public opinion.
I agree with you, okay? The whole Me Too movement is probably an overcorrection for centuries of bad behavior that more enlightened men like you and me had nothing to do with.
But, Mitch, do you really want a detailed probe into your private life? You think that's gonna exonerate you? - At first they came for the rapists.
- What are you And I did not speak up because I am not a rapist.
And then they came for the powerful men, and you did not speak up because you are not a powerful man.
But what are you going to do when they come for the ordinary, everyday, run-of-the-mill creep like you, Chip? Who's gonna be left to speak up for you? Um I'm gonna go now, okay? Do not show up tonight.
Stop talking.
Start fucking listening, and do it from home.
Who leaked this to the Times? Stop talking, Mitch.
And who did you have to blow to keep your job? All right.
See you in a couple of hours.
I need this.
I need my makeup so I can look like a princess all night.
That's not gonna fit.
I need my mints.
I need my phone, and I need my eye drops, none of which fit in this teeny little thing! I can take your phone.
Why would you take my phone? That's ridiculous, Jason.
You're getting worked up about nothing Really? About nothing? I'm sorry.
I need all this stupid shit.
Alex, it's fine.
Let me just Give me - I said I would get it.
I can shut it.
- Jesus Christ.
Thank you.
- Mom? - What? - It's gonna be okay.
- No, it's not, honey.
Okay, it's just an event.
Really? Just an event? Only with the worst timing ever.
I would rather stick daggers into my eyeballs! - Alex.
Alex.
- What? How about you pretend to have food poisoning and just don't go? I cannot do that.
Everyone in there will know that I'm lying, that I'm uncomfortable and afraid.
That I'm afraid of what's gonna happen to me on the show in the wake of Mitch.
Everyone in there is press.
They think they know everything.
Half of them hate me because I'm too successful, and the other half hate me because, I don't know, their hearts are at home in a fucking jar! Oh, God! Oh, Jesus, I can't cry! Jesus! Oh, God.
- No, stop it, stop it! - Mom.
- Yeah, well, you can't go out like this.
- I know that! [REPORTERS SHOUTING.]
- [REPORTER.]
Alex, Alex! - [REPORTER 2.]
Ms.
Levy! Right here! Hi.
[SHOUTING CONTINUES.]
- Okay? - Yep.
Let's go do this fucking event so I can go home and just die.
[REPORTERS SHOUTING.]
I really appreciate it.
[NO AUDIBLE DIALOGUE.]
Hey, Alex.
Congratulations on being honored tonight.
- Thank you.
- How does it feel? It's so meaningful to be honored by such prestigious company, and I'm thrilled to be here to support quality journalism in this day and May I just add The Morning Show is very important.
It's iconic and beloved, and it is about real journalism and no one person can change that.
We will survive this disgrace, and we're gonna help America get through it like a family.
- Thank you.
- Thank you.
Hey, let's get a picture.
You forgot the part about how I'm the one that will be pulling America through this.
Well, I think that was implied.
- Mm.
- [CORY CHUCKLES.]
You think a lot is implied.
That's where you hide.
In the implications.
I'm really honored.
Who are you? Being this personable is exhausting.
I don't think I can keep doing it for much longer.
Let me take you to the bar and give you a minute to be an intense, overly educated, sexy grouch, huh? I'm feeling good.
I'm starting to feel like I might really have a shot at this.
Keep pressing that flesh.
Hey, Cory? So, your friend Bradley Jackson, bit of a train wreck.
You're gonna be sorry if you go down this road.
I'd like to report otherwise, but that's my gut feeling.
Fine.
Okay, good.
Mom, did Hal go to his meeting? He was supposed to call me after, and I haven't heard a word from him.
I don't know.
He's not home yet.
He left about 1:00 to go to it.
He's been out for seven hours? Well, he said he was gonna go by Brandon's afterwards.
Mom, you can't let him see Brandon.
That's like putting heroin right in front of him.
Bradley, I'm worried now.
I'll call you later.
I just have to do one stupid thing and then I'm gonna come home, and I'll deal with this myself.
Okay, I gotta go.
All right, bye.
- Hey! - Glad you could make it.
I'm going to show you to your seat.
You got demoted to usher? No, I just moved you to a different table.
It'll be fun.
Well, it is thrilling to be here to support Alex Levy tonight, even though our shows are ratings rivals.
I mean, when it comes to supporting women in this business, we're all in the same boat.
What happened to her was humiliating.
I could never show up at an event like this.
I mean, to work with a sexual predator [GROANS.]
I don't know what I would do.
Thank God that's not me.
[CHUCKLING.]
- This is my mom.
- Hi.
- Congratulations.
Very nice to meet you.
- Thank you.
Real nice to meet you.
For the Gram.
It's a boomerang.
It is, yeah.
That's so cute.
That's fine.
It was great.
- Hi, thank you for coming.
- You look gorgeous.
Thank you, so do you.
Congratulations.
How are you, honey? Good to see you.
We should probably take a seat.
- Thank you.
- There we go.
Okay, and you guys are here.
- Yeah.
Lizzy's there, and that's where - Okay.
And you're here.
- I think that's Chip, right? - I think so.
Chip.
Come here.
- What? - Hi.
- That your seat? - Yeah.
Why? There's two extra seats here.
Do you think that they forgot to take away Mitch and Paige? I hope that's the worst of our problems tonight.
Why? Why do you say that? What are our problems? Nothing, don't worry.
I got it.
Chip, you have to Hi, gang.
You remember Bradley Jackson? Here's your seat.
This can't be right.
Last I checked I was the head of the network.
It's right.
- Oh, my God.
- [CORY.]
Have a seat.
Okay.
Hey.
I'm not with him, with him, to be very clear.
Well, that's good news for you.
I actually don't even know what I'm doing here.
Well, that makes two of us.
I didn't wanna bother you.
The What are you doing at this table? I don't know.
Cory Ellison sat me here.
[ALEX GIGGLES.]
Okay.
- Double? Got it.
- Mm-hmm.
[ALEX CLEARS THROAT.]
Cory, did we not just, moments ago, talk about how Bradley Jackson is a disaster? - We did.
That's correct.
- Mm-hmm.
So why is she sitting at that table over there with our people? I just thought it might be a good little wake-up call for Alex.
- I see.
- Hmm.
Take me home, please.
[EXHALES.]
[CLEARS THROAT.]
[DOOR OPENS.]
Oh.
- Alex.
- Hi.
Congratulations.
You look gorgeous.
Thank you, Audra.
Thank you.
And I'm so sorry about everything.
Why, Audra? I didn't fuck anyone.
Looking forward to your speech.
[CHUCKLING.]
Thank you.
[SIGHS.]
Oh, God.
[SIGHING.]
Look, I know it's weird that I'm at the table with you guys.
I I don't know what Cory's doing, but I feel really stupid, and I feel like I've been thrown around like a yo-yo by these guys all day.
What guys? Cory Ellison.
I met with him last night and he wanted me to meet Chip Black about a correspondent position today, and now I'm here, for what reason, I don't know, and then they sat me at your table.
He sat you at my table to fuck with me.
Me fuck with you? - I don't think so.
That's just funny.
- Mm-hmm.
Yeah, it's funny.
They're funny.
Um Let me ask you a question.
- Yeah? - Why did you stay? - Stay where? - At the table.
If it was so uncomfortable for you, why didn't you leave? You're an adult, you have agency.
Why did you stay? I don't have the right to tell the head of the network to fuck off.
I'm a nobody.
I'm not you.
Well, hello, Alex.
Are you ready for your big speech? You know what, Cory? Let's just cut through the second-party bullshit.
I know we're supposed to go through our agents and legal and stab each other off-screen, but I just wanna say this to your face.
I'm not closing without cohost approval.
Well, I'm sorry to hear that, because you're not getting it.
We're not breaking precedent.
I'm not putting the network at risk for future deals.
Then I'll walk.
Then walk, Alex.
I don't want you to be unhappy.
By the way, we bought this award for you.
[EXHALES.]
[SIGHS.]
Alex Levy is synonymous with integrity.
She embodies the vital role of our profession, not just in the politics of the nation or the business of the nation, but in the everyday lives of the American people.
Ladies and gentlemen, the star of The Morning Show and this year's recipient of the Leadership in Journalism Award, Alex Levy! Come on up.
Whoo! Thank you.
Thank you, Maggie, for those kind and beautiful words, and thank you to the New York Media Foundation for this tremendous, tremendous honor.
But first, I want to take this opportunity to apologize to all of the women who were victimized at The Morning Show.
I am so deeply sorry that we did not see what was happening, and truth be told, it feels a bit strange to be accepting an award for leadership in journalism when apparently this was going on right under our noses.
To that end, I would like to dedicate this award to those women.
[CHEERING.]
And secondly, secondly, this is gonna be a new era for The Morning Show and for women, for all women, and unheard voices.
Things are going to be quite different from now on.
So, I have some exciting news to share with all of you tonight.
Get out your phones.
[MURMURING.]
I would like to take this moment to announce my new Morning Show cohost Bradley Jackson.
[APPLAUSE.]