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Northeastern Illinois University's student-run newspaper

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Northeastern Illinois University's student-run newspaper

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“She Said” at the Music Box Theater with Q&A from Megan Twohey

From+left+to+right%3A+Carol+Marin+is+the+moderator+in+the+Q%26A++with+Megan+Twohey.
Dan Maurer
From left to right: Carol Marin is the moderator in the Q&A with Megan Twohey.

 

 “I feel like it dictated a certain direction my life took. That I just felt that it was this huge error in judgment that sort of marked me, and all my decisions. And I felt such shame that I let him do that. It was like he took my voice that day. Just when I was about to start finding it.” – Laura Madden as played by Jennifer Ehle She Said, 2022

 

“She Said” was based on the book written by Megan Twohey and Jodi Kantor, two New York Times investigative journalists who helped to expose Harvey Weinstein’s multiple harassment and assaults in 2017. There was a one-night-only film showing at Music Box Theatre on Sep. 28, 2023, which included a Q&A with Twohey.

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Twohey and Kantor, over several months between 2016-2017, compiled information on Weinstein regarding the accusations of harassing and assaulting women in high-profile positions as well as former staff members within the Weinstein Company. One of those women, actress Ashley Judd appears in the film as herself, as she is the catalyst for the exposé to have variability sources.

This film showing was a fundraising event from the Chicago Highlights Club Foundation to help fund the organization’s Les Brownlee Memorial Scholarships for current undergraduate journalism students at a Chicago-area college, and journalism grants that would go to Chicagoland area non-profit journalism organizations to help them hire and fund internships within their organizations. Carol Marin, who has worked in Chicago as a broadcast journalist and retired a few years ago, was the moderator for the Q&A with Twohey.

As announced by the presenter prior to the screening, while “She Said” shares similarities with acclaimed movies such as “All the President’s Men” and “Spotlight”. Unlike other journalism-based films, this film presented the reporters in their personal lives with their husbands and children, and the different situations that result from it. Moments that were not mentioned in the book “She Said” were adapted from.

 

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Interior of The Music Box, after the end of the Q&A – Dan Maurer

“Not to assist other people as they’re doing, but for you to be the one working with phones, knocking the doors, writing the stories. It doesn’t mean you are going to be good at it on the first day.”

 

During the Q&A portion, Twohey provided more insight into the investigative reporting with Kantor, as well as a behind-the-scenes look into the making of the film and the book. “The huge difference that everyday people can make when they are willing to stand up and seek the truth”, highlighting the role of getting additional voices from people like Laura Madden, who was one of the last sources to be added to the exposé as she was being prepped for breast cancer surgery.

Twohey an Evanston native, mentioned how surreal the adaptation was, as it was not only an adaptation of the investigation itself, but also that of the New York Times newsroom and other aspects of hers and Kantor’s lives that were not present in the book, “That felt like a really brave responsibility and we wanted to make sure that this movie did justice, not just to the story of our investigation, but to the story of our profession that we all value so much.”

The Q&A concluded with Twohey reflecting on how she worked her way up to her current journalism career, which involved working at a magazine in Washington, an English-language newspaper in Moscow, as well as for the Milwaukee Journal and the Chicago Tribune.“Not to assist other people as they’re doing, but for you to be the one working with phones, knocking the doors, writing the stories. It doesn’t mean you are going to be good at it on the first day.”

 Several friends she made during her time were determined to stay in larger cities, like Chicago or Washington D.C. due to the diminishing opportunities in local journalism. She doesn’t regret taking those jobs, having eventually working at the New York Times in her forties, as those jobs helped her with the training she needed to advance in journalism, “The work that you do is gonna resonate and be seen and recognized by the people who count as you work your way up.”

“She Said” can be seen on Amazon Prime, and wherever it can be rented/bought from.

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About the Contributors
Leslie Lozada
Leslie Lozada, Editor in Chief
Leslie Lozada is the Editor in Chief for The Independent, part of the social media team for the Independent as well as other roles she has done with the Student Media Board. She is currently pursuing a degree in Anthropology as well as a minor in Journalism. A fan of the written word, podcasts, and newspapers.
Dan Maurer
Dan Maurer, News Editor
Dan Maurer is the News Editor for the NEIU Independent. He is pursuing a Bachelor’s in  Sociology at Northeastern Illinois University. He got his associates degree from the College of DuPage. His goal in life is to position himself to be able to speak truth to power and provide analysis and facts for informed decision making. He spends his time reading, listening to podcasts, and engaging with science-fiction media. He also hosts karaoke multiple evenings throughout the week.

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