Kudos to Monica Lewinsky for not only redefining her life as an anti-bullying activist and public speaker, but for serving as a producer of Impeachment: American Crime Story, where the 1998 scandal of her affair with President Bill Clinton gets a fresh treatment through her lens.
Vanity Fair did an exclusive with Lewinsky in 2019, and talked about how the partnership with Director-Producer Ryan Murphy (Glee, Hollywood) came about:
Last year Murphy recalled running into Lewinsky at a Hollywood party and telling her: “Nobody should tell your story but you, and it’s kind of gross if they do. 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.” As Lewinsky wrote to Vanity Fair:
I was hesitant, and truthfully more than a little scared to sign on. But after a lengthy dinner meeting with Ryan, I came to understand even more clearly how dedicated he is to giving a voice to the marginalized in all of his brilliant work. I’m privileged to work with him and the other talented people on the team, and I’m privileged to have this opportunity.
So glad to see her taking her narrative back. Anyone that still thinks she was the one at fault here definitely needs to do some deep work on ideas of power & consent.
— Daniella Mestyanek Young 🇺🇸🇧🇷🇲🇽 (@daniellamyoung) September 19, 2021
Lewinsky recently told the U.K. Sun:
Lewinsky reportedly pushed Impeachment’s makers to include even her more scandalous actions in the new show, including a scene in which she flashed her thong to Clinton during a social event to get his attention.“Listen, I would’ve loved to have been really selfish and said, ‘That’s great that you guys think we don’t have to show that, fantastic,’ but I’m incredibly experienced in understanding how people see this story,” she said.
“So, ultimately, I felt two things: One was that I shouldn’t get a pass because I’m a producer; and two, that it was unfair to the team and to the project because it would leave everybody vulnerable.”
The 10-part docudrama promises to be as portentous as The People vs. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story. Both of these dramas have captured the imagination of the world, as well as defined, and redefined, an age of criminal justice and politics.
Before Impeachment: American Crime Story, Lewinsky participated in a 2018 documentary, The Clinton Affair.
In a personal essay for Vanity Fair she wrote about why she has been so selective about the projects in which she will involve herself:
Why did I choose to participate in this docuseries? One main reason: because I could. Throughout history women have been traduced and silenced. Now it’s our time to tell our own stories in our own words.… Almost all the books written about the Clinton impeachment were written by men. History literally being written by men. In contrast, the docuseries not only includes more women’s voices, but embodies a woman’s gaze: Two of the three main editors and four of the five executive producers are women.… I may not like everything that has been put in the series or left out, but I like that the perspective is being shaped by women. Yes, the process of filming has been exceedingly painful. But I hope that by participating, by telling the truth about a time in my life—a time in our history—I can help ensure that what happened to me never happens to another young person in our country again.
But sadly, as much as Lewinsky has made strides to tell her side of the story and recapture a narrative, she will always be defined by Bill Clinton and people’s regard (or lack of) for the 42nd president.
Monica milking her affair for decades. She’s not a victim. Stop it.
— Darnelle (@Darnish) September 19, 2021
@googoodolls can you believe Monica Lewinsky still talking about the Bill Clinton and her escapades it's like chick are you serious
— 👑👑👑👑MsMediaBeth👑👑👑👑 tweetiebug🐞 (@MsMediaBeth) September 19, 2021
To be clear, no one is dragging Monica Lewinsky. She keeps thirsting for media attention & profiting off her affair. She keeps digging it up. Bill was impeached. ML should apologize to Chelsea Clinton (who has never dragged her for the filth she had every right to), and move on! https://t.co/J0oLQ7uu6x pic.twitter.com/6iQYZ8dMTt
— 💛K-12 is the Priority💙 (@HD4safety_USAF) September 19, 2021
There are even those who feel Hillary Clinton was the victim in all this, and that the scandal helped to tank her chances at the presidency.
And then everyone else villainized Hillary for staying with her husband…
— Selina Grissom (@LilRdVet2) September 19, 2021
Is this still part of Monica Lewinsky's story?
My sympathies are with Hillary Clinton.
Presidential aspirations thwarted by Bill Clinton,
Anthony Weiner, James Comey.
Also Putin, Trump, and Parscale.
Benghazi! Her emails! https://t.co/bJiTdldXFQ
— Sharon Stout (@sharonstout18) September 19, 2021
This shows the power and sway that the Clintons still hold over people’s imaginations in general, and politics specifically. The whole Linda Bloodworth-Thomason, Man from Hope schlock lingers, despite all the revelations of flights to Epstein Island and Clinton Foundation corruption.
I feel like from everything publicly available my impression is that Monica Lewinsky very enthusiastically had sex with Bill Clinton, and compared to other things he’s been accused of it’s kind of yawn. But she was still an employee…
— James Kennedy (he/him) (@UD880) September 19, 2021
I agree… She was a willing participant in an affair…she saved that stained dress for a reason and told someone she knew would out them… they're both to blame…
— Selina Grissom (@LilRdVet2) September 18, 2021
In an interview with NBC’s TODAY Show to promote Impeachment: American Crime Story, Lewinsky was asked whether she still expected an apology from Bill Clinton:
Monica Lewinsky is past the point of needing an apology from former President Bill Clinton.
However, “he should want to apologize in the same way I want to apologize any chance I get to people my actions have hurt,” she said Tuesday, hours before “Impeachment: American Crime Story,” a limited TV series about the sex scandal that nearly ended Clinton’s presidency, is set to premiere on FX.
Because Lewinsky will never escape it, she may as well capitalize off it, as so many people have already done for the past 25 years.