American Crime Story has been a fixture in the FX Network empire since its first episode aired in February 2016. The series is a dramatization of real-world events, having previously recounted the trial of O.J. Simpson and designer Gianni Versace’s untimely passing.

On Tuesday, FX announced that former President Bill Clinton and the impeachment proceedings against him will be the next topic the show tackles. The season will air next October, weeks before the 2020 Election Day. Monica Lewinsky, Linda Tripp and Paula Jones will be the season’s central characters, and they will respectively be played by Beanie Feldstein, Sarah Paulson and Annaleigh Ashford.

Lewinsky, whom Clinton infamously had an affair with during his presidency, will also contribute to the show by working as the producer on this season. The affair has been dubbed the “Lewinsky scandal,” and the former White House intern has never been allowed to live it down. Lewinsky, who was 22 at the time, years before the #MeToo movement would empower victims of workplace harassment, has endured a relentless onslaught of toxicity from people online and offline. Late night comics have treated her as low-dangling fruit, making cheap jokes at her expense since the nineties. Clinton, meanwhile, withered the impeachment proceedings and won re-election in 1996 with few repercussions.

Speaking with The Hollywood Reporter, executive producer Ryan Murphy discussed how he approached Lewinsky about the project. “I told her, ‘Nobody should tell your story but you, and it’s kind of gross if they do,'” he said. “‘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.'”

Given the project’s premise, Lewinsky was initially hesitant to come aboard. However, Murphy’s zeal for giving marginalized people a platform impressed her, as she explained in a statement to Vanity Fair. “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.”

In recent years, Lewinsky, now 46, has worked as a social activist against cyber bulling.


A week of entertainment news in your in-box.
We find the news you need to know, so you don't have to.

Leave a comment

Read more about: