Hillary Clinton on How She ‘Became a Kind of Rorschach Test for Women’

TCA 2020: Former presidential candidate/FLOTUS’s docuseries “Hillary” launches March 6 on Hulu

Hillary Clinton is well aware that she’s a polarizing figure, but her upcoming Hulu docuseries, “Hillary,” has given the former presidential candidate, former secretary of state and former first lady, a little more insight as to why people either love or hate her.

“It’s really interesting. I think I did around 35 hours of interviewing with [director Nanette Burstein] and I have to say, some of it was clear to me and, really, she picked up on it early on — I became a kind of Rorschach test for women and women’s roles as soon as I burst on the public scene when Bill [Clinton] was running for president,” Clinton told reporters during the Television Critics Association press tour on Friday when a journalist asked what “new conclusions” the docuseries might have given her about the “extreme” reactions to her as a person.

“You know, I’d lived more than 40 years before that and I had no real understanding of what it meant to be thrust into this highest, brightest platform and try to live your life and go along with what you’d always done,” the former U.S. secretary of state continued. “So for example, when Bill asked me to lead our efforts on universal healthcare, it seemed pretty standard to me, because I’d done similar things in Arkansas in education. And so little did I know that it would create the most extraordinary backlash that the first lady would be involved in trying to make sure everybody had quality, affordable healthcare in our country.”

Hulu describes the four-part docuseries, which launches March 6, as “a remarkably intimate portrait of a public woman” that “interweaves revealing moments from never-before-seen 2016 campaign footage with biographical chapters of her life.” “Hillary” features interviews with Hillary Clinton herself, as well as Bill Clinton, their daughter Chelsea Clinton, as well as friends and journalists, and examines how she “became at once one of the most admired and vilified women in the world.”

“And there’s a scene in the movie, which I’d forgotten until Nanette dug it up, me being burned in effigy for wanting healthcare,” Clinton told reporters Friday. “So, part of it was the timing that I came on the national scene; what I chose to do was extremely controversial; the fact that I was the first ‘first lady’ of my generation and had been working ever since I was a young woman in the professional workforce; and then I’m sure, you don’t have to like everybody in public life, you can not vote for them because of whatever reason you pick, so I’m sure there were personal reactions. But I think it was even more rooted in the time we were in and the kind of challenging impression that people had of me at that time… who I was and what I cared about and what I did.”

Clinton did not endorse anyone for the 2020 presidential election in front of reporters Friday — but she did say how she fears four more years of President Donald Trump, who defeated her in the 2016 election if a Democrat is not elected to replace him.

You can read more about that here.

Jennifer Maas

Jennifer Maas

TV Reporter • jennifer.maas@thewrap.com • @jmaas421


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