American Crime Story producer Ryan Murphy ran into Monica Lewinsky at a party in 2018, about a year after he’d optioned the TV rights for Jeffrey Toobin’s book A Vast Conspiracy: The Real Sex Scandal that Nearly Brought Down a President. At the time, Murphy was having doubts about how to tell the story of Bill Clinton’s affair with Lewinsky and subsequent impeachment in the third installment of his American Crime Story series, and told her as much.
“I told her, ‘Nobody should tell your story but you, and it’s kind of gross if they do,’” he told The Hollywood Reporter. “‘If you want to produce it with me, I would love that; but you should be the producer and you should make all the goddamn money.’”
Lewinsky was hesitant at first, but eventually agreed. In 2019, she wrote to Vanity Fair in an email statement:
People have been co-opting and telling my part in this story for decades. In fact, it wasn’t until the past few years that I’ve been able to fully reclaim my narrative; almost 20 years later. But I’m so grateful for the growth we’ve made as a society that allows people like me who have been historically silenced to finally reintroduce my voice to the conversation. This isn’t just a me problem. Powerful people, often men, take advantage of those subordinate to them in myriad ways all the time.
Impeachment: American Crime Story stars Beanie Feldstein (Lady Bird, Booksmart) as Monica Lewinsky, Sarah Paulson (Ratched) as Linda Tripp, Edie Falco (The Sopranos) as Hillary Clinton, and Clive Owen (Children of Men) as Bill Clinton. The first full length trailer for the series dropped mid-August, and shows Lewinsky first starting out as a White House intern and increasingly becoming overwhelmed and enveloped by public scandal after Tripp records their conversations about Bill Clinton.
The limited series premiered on Tuesday, September 7 on FX at 10 p.m. ET, with episodes airing weekly on the following Tuesdays. However, unlike the majority of original FX series, Impeachment will not be available to stream the next day on Hulu’s FX hub.
Instead, the series is only be available on demand for customers with the Hulu + Live TV plan, and additionally through FXNow, the network’s own streaming platform, to customers of a participating TV provider. Basically, you’re going to need your parents’ cable TV login information.
And if that all sounds like too much work, the whole season will land on Netflix sometime in 2022. Because all is fair in love and the streaming wars.
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Lauren Kranc is an editorial assistant at Esquire, where she covers pop culture and television, with entirely too narrow of an expertise on Netflix dating shows.
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