The Morning Show (2019) s01e04 Episode Script

That Woman

You are so cocky.
You just think I'm gonna do this? I know you're going to do this.
We're gonna make her think that she's won, but we're gonna let this "nobody" in and finally push Alex Levy off the shelf for good when we don't have to look like the bad guys.
We are doing this my way.
Because, frankly, I've let you bozos handle this long enough.
Not the apology you were expecting? So, people, we've got 48 hours to define the character of Bradley Jackson.
Seriously, you guys? This is garbage.
I don't call my mother "Mama," and she's also a terrible cook.
"Try not to be so confrontational.
Men don't wanna fuck you.
Don't be so angry.
Women feel criticized.
" But here, here I'm gonna become the Mother Teresa of the morning news.
I snaked a Mitch accuser from YDA.
Come on The Morning Show.
Show everyone you have the nerve, but especially him.
- You are doing the interview with Ashley.
- What? Why are you giving me the interview? Because it's better for the show.
Why are you doing this to me? Bradley, I don't have a fucking clue what I'm doing.
- You don't? - I honestly don't know why I picked you.
But I do know that I think I like you.
Don't fuck it up.
Good morning.
Welcome back and thank you for joining us.
While we are still reeling from the shock of last week, today is a very special day here at The Morning Show because of this gal sitting right next to me.
Wait, wait, hold on a second.
Where is she? Bradley? Send her in.
Take four.
Go, go, go.
- Stand by, one.
Take it, one.
- Bradley Jackson.
You're not going to have a heart attack.
You're not.
I feel so empowered.
Do I look empowered? - I feel empowered.
- You look great.
- Hello, Bradley.
- Hey there.
"God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change.
" - Oh, my gosh.
Wow! - Come on.
Sit up on your throne.
This is amazing.
Something about Kelly's pipes makes you feel like you can do anything.
Am I right? You are absolutely right.
I love me some Kelly.
But, listen, Miss Bradley, this is about you right now.
You have arrived.
Welcome, Bradley Jackson.
Thank you so much, Alex.
Wow, I can't even begin to express how thrilled I am to be sitting in this iconic studio next to you.
- Aww.
- Talk about dreams come true.
I am living proof that that is more than just a cliché.
I've been watching this show since I was toddling around in a onesie.
Oh, my gosh.
To be sitting side-by-side with you.
I mean, somebody pinch me.
Oh, well, let me just tell you the feeling is mutual.
When we did our interview last week, I just felt this instant connection.
Fucking bitch.
- Yes, I had the same feeling.
- Yeah.
Journalistic kismet or something.
Oh, I like that.
Like when you go on a first date and it just sparks so easily Does this feel like total, bland bullshit to you? You mean, does it feel like the show? Yes.
- Oh.
- Very single.
Not for long.
Not for long.
So, what would we consider this to be? I guess our Would this be our second date? Well, I don't want to scare you, Alex, but I think we've already moved in.
Oh, my gosh, that was fast.
Well, here's hoping you get to the bedroom soon.
We have a little surprise for you, Bradley.
- You do? - Yes, we do.
- All set with the feed? - Ready to go.
And for our audience, Bradley's mom is checking in on us from West Virginia.
Sandy Jackson, are you there? Hi there.
Hello, everybody.
Hello, Sandy.
Hi, Mom.
I'm on The Morning Show.
How about this? I'm just so proud.
Well, as you should be.
Bradley is pretty amazing.
What was it like watching her grow up? Oh, it was just wonderful.
She was always so smart and sassy and funny and just so much fun.
It was a wonderful time for our family, and so much love and happiness.
And we always knew that Bradley was something special.
- You were always a great mom.
- Aww.
Sandy, when did you first start seeing Bradley's potential? Oh, very early on.
She was always the smartest in her class and worked so hard at everything she did.
She wrote for the school paper.
Won every spelling bee.
Helped out at the soup kitchen.
And was always ready to lend me a hand.
We cooked together every night.
Just such a happy time for our family.
You better get your shit together, girl, or you're gonna end up sucking dicks under the promenade.
Well, family is everything.
Isn't it, Sandy? Family is a whole lot of things.
Oh, hey, and I hear that you put together a little clip of Bradley growing up that you would like to share.
Yes, I did.
I worked on it really late last night.
- Ready X.
- Should we roll it? Let's do it, America.
- Roll X, take X.
- Let's do it.
- I feel like I'm at my own wake.
- Mm.
Producers did a really good job with this.
They changed the script on my mother.
Did they? Yes.
The one they showed me reflected some sort of reality.
This is just based on a snow globe.
It was flat.
- Do not overreact.
Just go with it.
- And we're back.
- Five, four - You'll get used to this.
three, two So great to meet your mom, Bradley.
And what an amazing place you grew up in.
Yes, West Virginia is amazing.
You know, it wasn't all as perfect as that made it seem.
She's going off script.
Well, that's what America loves about you, Bradley.
You're real.
Yeah, just to be real, I don't want young women out there watching the show to think you have to have some - perfect childhood to be successful.
- Right.
There were hard times, and I did a lot of stupid things.
Oh, of course.
We all did.
Yeah, yeah, no.
I'm not talking about just accepting a dare to jump off the roof of a barn, 'cause I did that.
You know, I got suspended multiple times.
I cost my high school track team a championship because I got caught with alcohol on me.
Heck, had an abortion when I was 15 years old.
I - Oh, she did not.
- Oh, my God.
I Mother of fuck! Yes.
Bradley had an abortion? Oh, Jesus.
That's a lot for a 15-year-old.
Yeah, it was.
It was.
And that's what I mean.
Life is hard and people get through things and Let's go to weather.
We're evacuating this shitshow.
Somebody get Yanko to the stage right fucking now.
It's not just sunshine and roses.
Get me Cory Ellison! Get me Charlie Black now! - But you can grow.
- Mm.
- Twitter's fucking blowing up.
- Should we cut it for the West Coast feed? We can't.
The women's groups are going to skewer us if we cut it.
What do we do? Leave it in.
Go to Yanko now.
What shaped me and gave me my view of the world.
Because this is my day to introduce myself to America, right? Yes.
I just thought I should be transparent with them, with you guys.
You certainly have been.
And thank you for opening up, Bradley.
Go, go! Okay, throw to Yanko.
All right, let's get an update on the weather, Yanko.
What is today looking like? Amazing.
Grab the kids.
Head to the park this week.
It is gonna be sunny days, folks.
It's gonna be beautiful.
But don't forget to put a sun hat on that baby, okay? And lather up that sunscreen.
SPF 30 and over, especially for the little ones.
Somebody get in Yanko's ear and tell him no more kid references.
Entire weekend.
If you don't have kids, you should also wear sunscreen.
Can you pull something out from later in the week and fill the time with it? Let's put Alison and the Marcus Samuelsson cooking segment along with Alex, and you guys just rework it.
Make it work.
Lighten it up.
Chip, maybe it was a slipup.
It's her first day.
That was not a slipup.
That was deliberate.
We are minimizing her for the rest of the show.
No more risk.
I do not want Bradley Jackson near anything where she can say anything about anything that isn't air fucking tight! - Chip! - What? I have Fred on the phone and he says he needs to talk to Tell Fred to go fuck himself! Thank you! As most of you in DC know.
This year, I'm happy to report, the festival will go on sans rain.
And to all my sailor friends, down in Norfolk, if you're gonna throw a few back this weekend, make sure you throw on that zinc.
Friends in the south, on the other hand, they're gonna be seeing clouds rolling in throughout the entire weekend.
It looks like the sun won't be showing itself there till Tuesday morning.
And that's what's happening across the country, folks.
Let's see how it's looking where you live.
And we're out.
Did you fuck up just now, or was that intentional? I don't actually know.
She's a Category Five.
I think she's amazing.
I'll come back in a bit.
We're gonna have a talk.
It's been less than a minute, we've already had two advertisers call and pull their spots for tomorrow.
I know.
It's a mess.
We'll have to figure out how to manage the fallout.
You have to figure out how to manage the fucking fallout! This is on you, Cory! It's your failed goddamn experiment! I said she was a mistake.
She was untested and unpredictable and unvetted, and I was right.
She barely made it ten minutes without announcing her teenage fucking abortion to Middle America.
Bradley Jackson's revelation has gone viral and sparked a national firestorm.
The Pro-Life Action League issued a condemnation of UBA and The Morning Show, while Planned Parenthood tweeted that - Okay, can you just turn that off, please? - Sure.
Oh, God.
Oh, fuck, fuck, fuck me.
Fuck me.
Fuck, fuck, fuck.
Shit, shit.
Okay, okay.
Well, I'm sorry.
It's the truth.
I can't believe that happened when you were 15.
Did you just make that up to be controversial? No, I didn't make it up! Jesus, why would I do that? You should have told me.
I could have had a grandchild.
I could have raised it.
Oh, 'cause you did such a great job with me and Hal? You think I'd bring that kind of problem into our crazy environment? Our house? You think I would possibly do that? You don't understand! Fuck.
Oh, my God.
Oh, God.
Good morning, Bradley.
Get in the car.
So, is this the part where you take me out to a warehouse and shoot me? Worse.
I'm taking you down to the studio.
You're gonna get back on that horse, and you're gonna do the show like yesterday never happened.
This is a really fucked-up job.
All jobs are fucked up.
You do things you don't necessarily choose to do in exchange for relevance and money, and you cannot let it kill you.
Why are you even talking to me right now? I am talking to you, Bradley, because I have to make this work.
I chose you, and everything is on the line for me.
And I-I can't let this beat me.
"This" meaning me? My mouth? Who I am at my very core? - Those things? - Yes.
If you want to put it that way, you can put it however way you want.
But we are gonna win this.
You can escape.
You know that, right? The people in America don't know that you chose me.
They can just blame the network when I get fired.
People on the inside know.
Chip knows.
Cory Ellison knows.
Fred Micklen knows.
Those motherfuckers.
And I am not gonna let them walk away thinking they were right.
I would die first.
I understand.
I'll try.
Thank you.
Okay, before we jump into today's top stories, Bradley, I know that you wanted to address America yourself.
- Yes.
Thank you, Alex.
- Of course.
I understand that many of you were insulted yesterday when I referenced an abortion I had as a teen.
While I am not sorry for the life choices I've made, I'm very sorry for so casually discussing an issue that is so personal to many Americans.
I promise that as I embark on my new role here, I will work hard every day to earn your forgiveness, as well as your trust and support.
Thank you.
Thank you.
Well said, Bradley.
Well, it comes from my heart.
And we're out.
Back in two minutes.
No, she is not interviewing the Mitch victim.
Well, Fred, that's an extreme reaction.
She's popping.
You can't deny that.
Her ratings for Monday Of course the ratings were strong.
We promoted the shit out of it.
But after what she did yesterday? No.
I would like to point out that no one is talking about Mitch right now.
Oh, that's our standard? Getting fucked by a new scandal so the old one pulls out? What Bradley did yesterday was core shaking.
It undercuts our integrity in an entirely different way than Mitch did.
UBA has a reputation as a fair and impartial actor in the news business, and in one fucking sentence she politicized us.
Bradley is interviewing Ashley Brown on Friday.
- I beg your pardon? - We have already run the promos.
We did a big end-of-the-week blitz.
That's got a hook.
It's compelling.
Bradley will bring authenticity, transparency, to the interview, which is what we need right now.
We cannot look like we just changed our minds.
We've got to stay bold.
We can respond to what happened yesterday by taking the interview away.
It'll actually look like someone's running things.
All right, Fred, here it is.
Half the country hates her, but half the country loves her.
We pull her from the Ashley interview mid-promotional stream, those lefty blogs are gonna shoot their condescending, politically correct wad all over the Internet's fucking face.
Before you know it, we become an example of everything that they stand against.
The powerful patriarchy silencing a woman for talking about her uterus.
And Woke Twitter will never forgive us.
You sound like an asshole when you say "Woke Twitter.
" - You know that? - I did.
I heard it.
I know.
Look, Fred, we have already course corrected here.
Why don't we just give this a chance to work? Because we're still bleeding advertisers.
They'll come back.
They always do.
Especially if the ratings are up.
It's the beauty of capitalism, right? In one day, Bradley Jackson re-branded morning news as personal, unexpected, exciting.
You should be thanking her.
And you will be.
Now let's just everybody calm down and get on this ride.
It's gonna be a good one.
Bradley Jackson is going to save us.
That's why I picked her.
You're welcome.
Friday, a Morning Show exclusive.
Former TMS staffer, Ashley Brown, sits down with Bradley Jackson live to discuss Brown's accusations against Mitch Kessler.
A no-holds-barred interview you don't want to miss.
Only on The Morning Show.
Bradley's still doing the interview, but let's prepare our contingency plan.
Fred is like a ticking bomb right now.
- What? - She's here.
- She's here.
- Wait, who's here? It's the investigator that the network hired from Stern and Young.
Can't we delay that? This week is already insane.
It's optics.
We can't wait.
Look, it's gonna be fine.
We just need to be careful.
More is gonna come out about Mitch.
That is inevitable.
And we need to have each other's backs so we can survive, then we will right the ship.
We need to protect that.
Protect the show.
"Protect the show.
" Thank you.
My name is Vicki Manderly.
I'm from Stern and Young and I'm going to be heading up the investigation on Mitch Kessler.
I will be having private conversations with you all, individually.
I don't want you to feel scared or anxious about any of this, okay? We're just talking.
It is all confidential.
You are safe.
I'm only here to try and understand the culture at The Morning Show that allowed Mitch Kessler's inappropriate behavior to go unchecked.
We want to find out where the blind spots are.
So we can work together to make this a safe, highly-functioning workplace for everyone.
So whatever you can do to help facilitate this process would be greatly appreciated.
You got it, Vicki.
We're here to help, so whatever you need.
The fact that he actually screwed around with people on the show? I mean, yes, there was gossip, but I never let myself believe that it was actually true.
What about now, post Mitch? Do you think this is an environment that condones sexual misconduct, inappropriate sexual relationships? Do you know of any misconduct? No, God, no.
No, not at all.
They actually did a good thing for once and hired a conservative.
But now, of course, they're just using her to push their agenda.
How? She just stated that she had an abortion.
They're sending the message that Planned Parenthood and other organizations that are funded by our government They're completely missing the point.
She's not a conservative or a liberal.
No, she's a performance artist.
It's like watching somebody burn the American flag every single morning.
But less political and more controversial.
I know.
Isn't it great? Well, yeah, if you think watching a star explode into a supernova and leave a black hole in its place is great.
- I do.
- Well, yeah, of course you do.
You get me, don't you? I love that.
- Hey, hey.
- Mm-hmm.
Claire, wait, wait.
- What? - Did I do those things to you? What things? You know, those Like what Mitch did.
Did I do that to you? Oh, God.
You think because you're older than me and technically my superior at work, I can't have decided to fuck you without being taken advantage of? What, because you're the big, powerful weatherman, I lose all agency in my sexual choices? I don't know.
I mean, I know what I feel when I'm with you.
I know what I feel when it's just you and me.
I don't need anything but you, so - Are you answering your own question? - I'm not.
Claire, the investigator kept talking about power imbalances and inequitable sexual dynamics.
- That's this That's us.
- Yanko, darling.
My family could buy and sell you and your entire family tree a dozen times over.
My father has nothing to do with UBA, but he could still have you fired with one phone call.
If there's a power imbalance in this relationship, it's the one I have over you.
And I don't plan to stop taking advantage of you anytime soon, so you better find another outlet for this bullshit you're peddling.
It's just you and me, okay? - Okay.
- Yeah.
And when we come back, W Magazine accessories director of our favorite sunglass guru, Delilah Frye, shows us the hottest new trends for summer.
I am so excited for that.
I moved here, and I forgot my sunglasses.
- What were you thinking? - I don't know.
Don't worry.
Delilah's gonna take care of that for you.
Well, I can't wait.
And later in the hour, Alison and I will sit down with the author of the newest "ya" sensation.
Excuse me.
I meant to say "YA sensation.
" Okay there, Bradley? I know I'm "ya.
" I'm okay, but I'm sorry 'cause I'm so tired right now, I can barely see straight.
All right, we're a mess.
We need to sleep tonight so we can pull it together for Kelly Clarkson tomorrow.
Oh, my gosh, Kelly is going to be here.
- What doesn't kill you makes you stronger.
- That's right.
- I'm the biggest Kelly Clarkson fan.
- I know you are.
- I'm probably not gonna sleep tonight.
- You need to sleep.
We'll cover your sleepy eyes with Delilah's sunglasses.
She'll take care of that.
Her summer styles are up next.
And later, Alison and I are going to talk to Allegra Jameson about her new book.
So don't go away.
- My body, my choice! - Abortion stops a beating heart.
Oh, my God, this isn't going away, is it? Two news cycles and counting.
The moon landing only gets one in 2019.
She'll be the death of us all.
Or at least Alex and Chip.
Over my dead body.
Actually, nobody up there would even notice my dead body.
They'd just have to step over my rotting corpse to do the show.
This place runs on human sacrifice.
We'll all end up on the altar eventually.
No, I never saw or heard anything.
Why? Did someone say that I did? I never slept with him.
That Page Six article was bullshit.
Mitch was a flirt, pretty good one.
I am too, to be fair.
So is Alex.
Mm, I've only been here about 18 months, so I'm probably not the best person to speak to the culture over a long period of time, but everything I've observed has been aboveboard.
Honestly, I liked having him around.
He was fun.
I miss him.
Next, we have an inspiring story coming out of Mississippi, where high school girls are walking out of class today to show their support for Bradley Jackson, the new coanchor of The Morning Show, after the governor tried to reintroduce legislation that would ban abortions after six weeks.
This action comes after a controversial comment he made earlier this week calling The Morning Show's Bradley Jackson "a dangerous threat to America.
" Mississippi already has some of the nation's strictest abortion laws.
In southern parts of the state, walkouts have lasted nearly six hours, which represents how long it would take a student to drive to the state's only remaining abortion clinic.
This footage is remarkable.
The power of social media on display.
Not to mention Bradley Jackson.
Her comment has lit a fire under the abortion debate nationwide.
And the governor's attempt to use Jackson as a lightning rod to push his agenda appears to have backfired.
I agree.
I'd also argue that these walkouts go beyond just the abortion bill.
They're happening because people heard Bradley's story and thought, "That could be me.
And I want to make my own choice about my future like she did.
" Okay, we're now getting word from our source on the ground that a staggering 37 school Stand by, three.
Take it, three.
Come on.
Bradley Jackson, get on over here.
- Oh, my God, me? - Go, yes.
Go, go.
All right, girl, I know that it has been a crazy week.
- Oh, my gosh.
- All right? But you are a truth teller, Bradley Jackson.
You're honest, I love you, and I stand with you.
All right, come on.
Dance with me.
Whoo! Whoo! We've been growing steadily all week, especially in the 18-to-34 demo, which is hitting live numbers we haven't seen in years.
Kelly Clarkson, everybody! Thank you so much for being here.
You made my day.
Thank you, everyone.
That's our show for today.
Stay tuned for The Twist.
The culture is fine.
And as for Mitch, everyone loved him here.
He lit up the room.
He made everyone feel like family.
Well, I don't have a whole ton to say about Mitch.
He was the king of the world, and he knew it.
I saw the way he talked to people, how he hugged women hello.
Yeah, he just thought he's pretty untouchable.
There she is.
Kelly Clarkson's truth teller.
This is all just so weird.
Why are you here? I've got a meeting with Fred upstairs.
I just wanted to stop in and say hello.
You going to join the chorus of people telling me to keep behaving myself? Have you met me? Yes, I have.
You know you're killing this, right? - Am I? - Mm-hmm.
I don't know.
Right now I'm just prepping for this Ashley interview tomorrow.
God, is it ever strange being in his old dressing room? I hardly have a chance to get used to it, but yeah, sometimes it's weird.
I wonder what happened in here on a regular basis.
Yeah, I wonder that.
Between us, I also wonder who knew.
All right, I'll leave you to it.
Come in.
Hey, you got a minute? Sure.
- I just wanted to say that - Oh, God, I'm fine.
You don't have to do this.
I literally didn't do anything yet.
We've known each other long enough, Chip.
I know you know me.
Kelly Clarkson likes Bradley more than she likes me.
I'm gonna live.
You know, obviously she's new.
She created a stir this week.
- It's gonna die down soon.
- Why? We don't want it to die down.
It's great.
I mean, I made her, right? Yeah.
I'm her Dr.
She's my monster.
And if I'm being honest, she's actually exceeding my expectations.
And listen, would I like a little credit? Sure.
But that's also not surprising, 'cause people are disappointing, and you just can't let it get to you.
Well, that is I'm really proud of you.
Oh, my God, stop.
- What? - It's embarrassing.
You really don't do sincere emotion well.
It's kind of painful.
All true.
Still, I'm proud of you.
Thank you.
There's one little thing I do want to run by you.
- Um - Go on.
- New York Magazine called.
- Mm-hmm.
Maggie Brener wants to do a feature piece on Bradley.
Maggie Brener? - Hm.
- Mm-hmm.
That's good.
That's good.
It really takes the focus off Mitch being gone, huh? - Yeah, that's true.
- Yeah.
- Yeah.
- Yeah.
Well, okay.
So, he seduced you? It did not feel that way at the time.
Uh, we had this easy working relationship where we could almost finish each other's sentences.
He could read my mind.
It became very attractive.
And then he started to talk about his marital issues.
He and his wife fought all the time.
It was hard raising kids.
They never had sex.
On and on.
Mitch was genuinely lonely.
So was I.
Our world was this job.
And he let me in.
He created this intimacy where I felt seen.
I admired him so much.
He knew it.
He knew it.
And then uh, we didn't sleep together until right before the election.
How long did it last? The affair? About a year.
- And which one of you - Me.
I ended it.
Why? It got too complicated.
And what about after? - "After?" - After you broke up with him.
What was it like for you? Were there any repercussions? No.
Not at all.
We were perfectly professional.
This is a lot to carry with you.
I understand why you decided to tell the Times.
What? No.
I did not leak it to the Times.
You didn't? Oh, I'm sorry.
I just Since you made the complaint to HR a week before his termination, the one that the network was investigating, I assumed I made a complaint 'cause I couldn't stand watching Mitch report on Me Too anymore with that empathetic, dad-next-door smile.
That had to end.
But it was never my intention that he get fired.
I won't get into specifics over the phone, but, so far, you're safe.
Nobody's implicated the show or the network yet.
Just Mitch.
Okay, good.
What's the next move? I conduct my investigation.
Talk to everyone.
Find out where you're vulnerable.
You're not out of the woods yet.
- All right.
Keep me posted.
- Mm-hmm.
Bradley Jackson's live sit-down with former TMS staffer Ashley Brown.
The painful truth about the Mitch Kessler no one knew.
The interview everyone will be talking about.
Only on The Morning Show.
Well, shit.
That feels sort of incongruous, doesn't it? What? What's incongruous? What they're selling and what we're prepping.
Marketing is doing their job.
We need eyeballs.
I just hope we don't disappoint a lot of eyeballs.
This thing could backfire on us, you know.
This is a strong interview, Bradley.
Ashley is ready.
Which is not something I could say a week ago.
We have done good work.
I guess so.
I just can't help but feel like it's a little bit safe.
"Safe"? What are you It's not "safe.
" Yeah.
Ashley and Mitch have this flirtatious workplace dynamic.
Mitch pushes it too far.
It never crosses the line, but Ashley feels all this pressure, and she quits.
- That's it? - Yeah, that's not nothing.
No, it's not nothing.
It's awful.
And I give her so much credit for coming back on the show.
I just can't help but feel like I'm pushing someone else's agenda.
No, no, no.
You're helping to tell Ashley's story.
Her truth.
Well, it's a truth.
It's a truth that's been poked and prodded and vetted by rooms full of lawyers and executives and crisis management specialists, all trying to minimize the damage to the network.
And, you know, UBA's exposure here is very low.
Otherwise they would never let this interview happen.
- You and I know that.
- Okay, okay.
It's like the illusion of transparency without any of the actual risk.
Okay, fine.
You're not wrong.
UBA is a business.
Right? They're not gonna stab themselves in the face for the greater good.
- Right.
- But it doesn't mean this interview isn't important.
Ashley's experience is common.
It's, um, sexual misconduct at an insidiously routine level.
That shit matters.
It's relatable.
It's gonna mean something to our audience.
- I hope you're right.
- No, look.
I'm totally right.
Look, you had a long week.
It's been a bumpy ride.
But you've done great.
You're coming out of this strong as shit, so let's just focus.
Bring this one home.
Okay? Okay.
I hear you.
Let's go right to camera two.
- So, just, no jib.
- Yeah.
- I'm fine with that.
- Hi, everybody.
TGIF, am I right? What a week! Oof.
Look who it is.
It's Cory.
Big, big day.
I wanted to catch the show live.
- How are you doing? - Oh, yeah.
- Thank you.
- Yes.
Did you know he was coming? No fucking clue.
And when we come back, I sit down with Ashley Brown, a former Morning Show staffer with an emotional story to tell about her experiences with Mitch Kessler.
Stay with us.
And we're out.
Back in two minutes.
All right.
Here I go.
Hey, um, you're going to be great.
You're ready.
Just stick to the script, okay? And just remember, I'm with you the whole time.
- Okay.
- Okay? - Thanks, Alex.
- Yeah.
We're back in 30.
Hi, Ashley.
Bradley Jackson.
So nice to meet you.
I'm so nervous.
I hope my mike doesn't pick it up.
Oh, it's gonna be okay.
We're in this together.
- Okay.
- All right? You want to take a seat? And we're back in four, three, two Cue her.
So, by this point, you were working in the audio department.
So, I was the person who miked everyone.
It's a quick but intimate job.
So, of course I was around Mitch every day.
And he liked to tease me when I would slide the mike down his shirt.
You know, flirty stuff.
And I guess I thought he was fun and I liked the attention from the star of the show.
If I'm honest, I flirted back.
But I never intended for it to take the turn that it did.
And when did that happen? I'm sorry.
This is all just It's okay.
Take your time, Ashley.
It was 2009, and there was a big production meeting.
Everyone was there.
I wound up sitting next to Mitch, which he made sure of.
And he sat down next to me.
So, we were all in this meeting, and I felt a hand on my thigh, under the table and it was him.
His hand lingered there.
Then I felt him squeeze my thigh in a way that felt Loaded.
And what was going through your head when that happened? If I'm honest with myself, it was exciting.
Really exciting.
But also shocking and overwhelming.
How did you react in the moment? I didn't.
I should have.
But it all happened so fast, and it was so public.
I didn't have time to think, and so I did nothing.
And that opened a door.
And that flirty thing that we had, it increased.
A lot.
And it became consuming.
"Consuming"? Describe what you mean.
I couldn't focus on my job.
All I could think about was what sexual innuendo Mitch would throw my way.
And I knew what he wanted.
There was a question in my head of, "Should I give it to him?" Or what would happen if you didn't? Yeah.
That crossed my mind.
But I never did.
But I was still scared.
I felt like my entire career was in the hands of this one person.
I was very confused.
I didn't know how I felt about anything.
And eventually it just became too much.
And so I quit.
Did you ever open up to anyone, tell them what you were going through? No, I didn't.
Did you report to HR? About Mitch? No.
Why didn't you? I guess I just felt embarrassed.
I didn't want Mitch to know that I was complaining.
So you felt it would somehow get back to Mitch.
No, I Wait.
That question wasn't vetted.
I guess that - Where are you going with this, Bradley? - It's okay, Ashley.
I know it's uncomfortable being back here with all the people you used to work with in the studio and I guess what I'm asking is: Was there something about the culture at this network, at this show, that made it feel impossible to complain? No.
What the hell is she doing? No, I I didn't say anything because I didn't want anyone to know.
Know what? People had to know Mitch was flirting with you.
You said he did it publicly.
I'm not talking about flirting.
I'm talking about what happened.
Did she hint at this during prep? - No.
She never - Tell her to stop.
- Bradley.
- Mia.
Don't stop her.
Ashley, I'm here.
You're safe.
I don't want you to say anything that you don't feel comfortable saying.
- Bradley.
- But the truth matters.
Pull it back.
Sometimes it's the only weapon that we have against the powerful men who are trying to shut us up.
Bradley, stop this right now.
And your truth, Ashley.
Your truth could help so many other women.
Fred is on the phone.
Mitch and I did cross the line a few times.
In his dressing room.
He would call me in.
We would start kissing.
I would give him oral sex.
He never forced me, ever.
But I guess I I still just didn't really know how not to go through with it.
And I never told anybody, but everybody knew.
He's not picking up.
Fuck! I could feel it.
I could feel these people that I respected looking at me different.
Losing respect for me.
That must've been so hard for you.
It was.
I felt like I was watching myself from the outside.
And I saw myself the way everyone else saw me.
This slut sleeping with Mitch to help her career.
And I didn't know who that person was.
I didn't recognize myself.
And he did that to me.
He branded me.
He stole my confidence, my self-worth.
And then I was drowning, and there was no one to throw me a lifeline.
No one.
I was alone.
So alone.
Surrounded by people, but Isolated.
Thank you so much, Ashley.
Thank you for telling us your truth.
You're an incredibly brave woman.
We'll be right back.
And we're out.
Thank you.
Can I give you a hug? Can I get you a tissue? I'll be right back.
What the fuck was that? I brought you in.
I bet on you.
I dragged you up out of nowhere and gave you the opportunity of a fucking lifetime.
What you just did was reckless.
You just put this show and everyone who works here at risk.
Did you know? Excuse me? About Mitch.
About what was going on in his dressing room.
Did you? How dare you? Excellent interview, Chip.
I can't wait for the rest of the show.
I'm gonna grab some more tea.

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