'The Morning Show' Cast & EPs on Tackling Racial Injustices in Season 2
It may be a while before Apple TV+'s flagship series The Morning Show returns for Season 2, but for the cast and crew, awards season is just beginning and Season 1 remains a strong contender for Emmy gold.
Ahead of nomination reveals later next month, Apple held an FYC conversation and screening with the cast and executive producers to reflect on Season 1 as well as tease what's ahead. Moderated by Jess Cagle, the event was divided into three separate discussions, one of which included stars Reese Witherspoon, Mark Duplass and Karen Pittman as well as executive producer and writer Kerry Ehrin.
Along with a screening of the pivotal Season 1 finale, the relevant issues of workplace inequality entered their discussion along with the handling of current events moving forward. "We're working on the second season because we have the time to go and dig in and reinvent it a little bit," Ehrin revealed. "We're figuring all of that out."
"All of that" refers to the ongoing Black Lives Matter movement and the efforts to disassemble systemic racism. "We just absorb everything and then we repurpose it. So that's what we're in the process of doing," Ehrin continued to say about the incorporation of current issues into Season 2. "It has been a huge eye-opening and emotional time that I think is going to be present in so many artists' work."
Mark Duplass, who portrays The Morning Show's executive producer that was fired after the fictional network UBA's investigation surrounding disgraced anchor Mitch Kessler (Steve Carell), is noting his character's faults in the equality debate. "He had a lot of catching up to do in order to become an ally and to reckon with his [complicity] in that part of the problem even though he was a better version of one of those white powerful guys."
"I identify with that more than ever now in 2020," Duplass admitted. "I've always considered myself to be on the right side of things and now can really see Chip's [side] and feel him say, 'I was close but we're all f**kin' behind.'"
Reese Witherspoon — who executive produces and stars in the series as Morning Show anchor Bradley Jackson — also commented on changes behind the scenes. "I have been working in the Hollywood world for 30 years and I've seen enormous shifts in the past three years ... I found a lot of strength for the Time's Up movement by other women who were super aligned with trying to find equity in our work place, and that's really intersectional work that I'd never experienced before in our business."
"Part of what really inspired me too was working with Ava DuVernay on Wrinkle in Time, and the work she had done behind the camera to make sure the crews were diverse," Witherspoon continued. "What story you tell is just as important as how you tell the story."
And keeping that in mind, the cast are looking forward to exploring more about their characters when Season 2 does finally film. Karen Pittman, who played producer Mia Jordan on The Morning Show set, is anxious to see a new side to her beyond the consensual relationship she had with Mitch. "I'm interested what it will be like when ... every single thing in the back of Mia's mind isn't that f**k-up that she did with Mitch Kessler," Pittman noted.
"That's kind of interesting for me to see what her emotional landscape is going to look like for Season 2," she added. And Ehrin confirmed, "You won't be disappointed."
"I know some things," Duplass teased about Chip's Season 2 story. "I don't want to say anything cause I don't want to ruin it and who knows what Kerry has rewritten at this point, but I will say, what I love about Chip is he's very nimble, he's good at being on his feet, but he's a lonely guy when it comes to his personal relationships."
"There's a massive black hole there and I'm looking forward to seeing that little Achilles heel of his as it effects not only his work life, but that real vulnerability of someone once they allow themselves to get close to someone," Duplass added.
And in a show all about power and power dynamics, Witherspoon hinted at a rise in power for Bradley. "I love what Kerry explores with power and how that effects people," the actress said. "I'm really excited ... because Bradley is really gonna explore having a little more power in her life."
Fans will likely be waiting for a while since Season 2 won't arrive before 2021 as filming remains halted. Stay tuned for more details about The Morning Show Season 2.
The Morning Show, Season 1, Streaming now, Apple TV+