Jennifer Aniston on ‘The Morning Show’ Season 2 Finale and Cancel Culture: ‘This is the New Sport’

[Editor’s Note: The following interview contains spoilers for “The Morning Show” Season 2, Episode 10, “Fever.”]

“The Morning Show” has come a long way in two seasons. The Apple TV + series begins by exposing Mitch Kessler (Steve Carell) as a sexual predator, ousting longtime presenter from his post alongside co-host Alex Levy (Jennifer Aniston) and sending the show’s parent company to free fall. Investigations are launched. A toxic culture is discovered. Replacement anchor Bradley Jackson (Reese Witherspoon) helps Alex divulge their findings live, on air, in order to start the rebuild by whatever means necessary. The sins of the past, which claimed the life of a colleague, cannot fester in darkness. They have to start over with the truth.

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But throughout Season 2, Alex begins to question this claim. Faced with a revealing new book covering her time with Mitch on the “Morning Show,” complicated feelings about some of the people she’s turned her back on and a comeback on the airwaves, the new #MeToo hero spends most of the 10s. episodes in a state of panic.

Why? She is terrified of being “canceled”.

“[‘The Morning Show’] that’s all that [Alex] a, ”Jennifer Aniston said in an interview with IndieWire. “She burned all bridges because all she cared about was this show and being on top, staying relevant and maintaining that level of Alex Levy-dom at all costs, to the point that she turned a blind eye to a behavior she shouldn’t have had. “

“When she comes back to the show, she naively thinks that she’s gained some wisdom and some self-reflection, and she can bring this new Alex back to the halls of TMS,” Aniston said, “but then realizes that there are so many bodies buried – then the book, and then this [and that]. It’s just “Oh my God, how do I navigate this?” She spent so much time trying to plug all the holes in the canoe so it wouldn’t sink. It’s that desperation of not being discovered – what an exhausting existence to have to live in. “

In the final, she has to face these struggles head-on. After Mitch had died by suicide two episodes earlier, Alex is shocked not only by her conflicting feelings for her former co-host (whom she visited in Italy shortly before her death), but also by the reaction of the public facing their decision to travel abroad during a global pandemic.

Then, of course, she is diagnosed with COVID.

Season 2 of “The Morning Show” takes place in the months leading up to the pandemic’s breakthrough in America, and Alex is one of the first notable people to contract the virus. (Tom Hanks and Rita Wilson, who tested positive in March 2020, are also mentioned in the finale as famous early cases.) With a high fever, nausea, and more debilitating symptoms, she is told to stay home. , to rest and to be isolated. by his doctors. But his producer, Chip (Mark Duplass), convinces Alex to share his plight with the world through a special educational plan live in his home. It’s their chance to show people what the disease is like and the opportunity for Alex to speak directly to a once-loyal audience that might backfire.

So, for the last third of Episode 10, Aniston speaks directly to the camera, as Alex tries to come to terms with everything she’s been through. To the recent uproar, she said: “The legions of people who want me to go, they’re not real – Maggie Brenner’s book is going to sell for 30,000 or 40,000. [copies] if she’s lucky, but I’m supposed to believe the whole world is going to be outraged by my behavior? Later, she asks her audience if they think she deserves to suffer like this, and if so, “What for?” If I deserve it, does it allow you to take advantage of someone else’s pain while still feeling morally right? […] Why do you have an opinion on this? Take care of your own store.

It’s hard to say if Alex is more worried about dying or being canceled, but even equating the two is a major statement from “The Morning Show.” The season’s consistent emphasis on “canceling the crop” coupled with Alex’s ultimate conclusion – “I’m done apologizing for myself. Get on the Alex Levy train or just stay at the station ”- illustrates resistance to the same type of responsibility the show advocated in season 1.

“Obviously this is a new thing happening. It’s the new sport, ”Aniston said when asked how“ getting canceled ”weighs on people like Alex. “It sounds reckless, which is why I think we really wanted to explore it on the show. What happens when someone gets canceled? Where do they go? Is that it? Depending, of course, on the level of the crime: some are clearly unthinkable, unforgivable acts that cannot be ignored, and others are just bad judgment, or there is stuff that was unearthed 20 years ago. , when times were different and things that were normal are now, today, not normal. Everyone is sailing through, ‘What are we allowed to say?’ ‘What can you do now?’ “Oh, no, you can’t say that.” So there is a new playbook that everyone is trying to catch up with.

“But what was fun for me was somehow realizing that you can put your head in the sand as much as you want, but those bodies will eventually be discovered,” she continued. “You can’t hide it forever. This is the world we live in, and yet at all costs, [Alex] will stay on top [the fold]; she came back to that thing – the drugs got her again. She just has to stay afloat, hide it here, hide it there, and finally everything bites her ass.

The duration of the bite marks remains the question. “The Morning Show” began as a series aimed at laying bare the dire consequences of sexual misconduct, discriminatory corporate culture and unchecked power. It ends – at least with Season 2, as Apple TV + hasn’t ordered a third season yet – as a show that doesn’t know how power is to be looked at and has a right to say enough is enough. . Alex Levy will not be silenced. But the public can always choose if they want to listen.

Seasons 1 and 2 of “The Morning Show” are available for full streaming via Apple TV +.

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