“Divide and Conquer: The Story of Roger Ailes,” a new documentary from director Alexis Bloom, charts the rise and fall of former Fox News Chairman and CEO Roger Ailes.
Ailes, who died in May last year, was forced to resign from Fox News in 2016 after multiple women came forward with claims of sexual harassment against him and Fox News. Bloom told TheWrap in a conversation during the 2018 Toronto International Film Festival that while the sexual harassment controversy that led to Ailes’s fall was an important part of the film, she didn’t want that to be all there was to the story.
“We didn’t want to be a sexual harassment film,” Bloom told TheWrap. “I think you get the picture that he was abusive toward women even from back in the 60s, but you don’t want the audience just to be focused on that.
“The longer legacy, I think, is the political divisiveness that he has kind of inaugurated and celebrated and monetized in the way that nobody else has.”
Ailes is considered to be the mastermind behind the success of Fox News and one of the most powerful men in both media and American politics, having influenced the 2016 election of President Donald Trump.
Ailes was named the founding CEO of Fox News in 1996 and the network quickly gained popularity while he called the shots. Fox News has regularly been among the most-watched networks in all of cable and dominates the cable news category.
“He’s a fascinating human being. We fall into a trap of making these people monsters and that’s always sort of a divisive thing — he was very divisive,” Bloom said. “I think it’s important to go into these things and realize, you know, these people are responsible for a lot of bad things, but actually they’re human, they’re us, they’re part of our lives. So I didn’t mind, we had a good time making the film. I found it fascinating.”
Watch the video above.
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