'Mrs America' draws flak for trying to make Phylis Schlafly likable through Cate Blanchett's charisma
Viewers can't decide if Cate Blanchett's portrayal of Schlafly is problematic, as they claim the Hulu miniseries is a borderline 'love letter' to the anti-feminist leader
Spoilers for first three episodes
Ahead of its midnight release on Hulu, the latest FX production 'Mrs. America' drew a lot of flak for being an absolute "caricature" of women's liberation movement opposer Phyllis Schlafly.
While her daughter called out the miniseries from writer Dahvi Waller a brazen portrayal of her mother's fight for God-fearing homemakers, others have labeled it a liberal "propaganda" to smear everything Schlafly stood for.
But ever since the premiere, viewers and even some immediate fans of the series have a new reason to shade 'Mrs America' — the reason being Cate Blanchett's portrayal of Schlafly which is easily meant to make her likable, and also how showing some of the blatant misogyny she suffered is an attempt at glorifying her staunch anti-feminism.
Blanchett as Schlafly is unputdownable, even in moments where she professes ideologies that today's sexists would label as "women belong in the kitchen", there's a certain conviction that only comes with the kind of nuance Blanchett is capable of.
So to see the Oscar-winning actress play the woman behind the Equal Rights Amendment still not being a law hasn't been easy for fans who do not agree with Schlafly's radical views.
Add to that the everyday sexism she braves — be it men asking her to smile with teeth, or asking her to take notes for her 'penmanship' even as she sits with them as a panelist on nuclear policies and suddenly, it becomes quite difficult to not sympathize with her.
Quipping about the dilemma this has caused them, a fan shared on Twitter: "No, don't you dare make me feel bad for Phyllis Schlafly! damn you, 'Mrs America'! great first episode though."
For other fans, however, this was no matter of joke, as they vehemently opposed the absurd glorification of Schlafly by trying to humanize her through Blanchett.
"I was excited that there was a series on the #ERA battle coming out, but #MrsAmerica makes it seem like it’s a celebration of Schlafly. Is it? If so, wtf? (Also, I love Cate Blanchett, but I’m not watching a love letter to Schlafly. Just no)," wrote another strong critic.
Other viewers called out the barrage of articles in Schlafly's defense that arrived just before the premiere, saying: "LMAO at the onslaught of pieces coming out in defense of Phyllis Schlafly ahead of the 'Mrs America' premiere in a few hours."
And others just lamented how it's "Sad that Phyllis Schlafly isn't alive to see her self-hating hypocrisy portrayed so well." "Phyllis Schlafly does not deserve Cate Blanchette," and "Phyllis Schlafly comes across as a 'pick me'," were some common opinions too.
And if one trespass onto the more conservative side of reactions, there were responses like "SO it turns out #MrsAmerica distorts Phyllis Schlafly's legacy. I shall watch it anyway, but with a grain of salt. or two. or three."
And of course, slamming the show for tarnishing Schlafly's image, a fan wrote: "What a shame! Phyllis Schlafly was a whistleblower in DFW — ended up suicide, and they make a propaganda movie about her call 'Mrs America'? These people are sick!!"
'Mrs America' premiered with its first three episodes on Hulu, with weekly episodes dropping every Wednesday on the streaming platform.