Just In Time Reese Witherspoon and Robin Wright Are Making A TV Show About America’s First Ladies

Can their insights into some of the amazing, inspiring and often unnoticed work done by Jackie Kennedy, Betty Ford, Michelle Obama, Hillary Clinton and others help redefine to Donald and Melania why a successful first lady needs to do much more than 'support'?

Just In Time Reese Witherspoon and Robin Wright Are Making A TV Show About America's First Ladies

by Jess Commons |

Rejoice because American political TV dramas have finally taken a turn for the interesting; the first ladies of the White House are set to get their own show thanks to Reese Witherspoon and Robin Wright.

First Women: The Grace and Power of America’s Modern First Ladies was originally a book written by reporter Kate Andersen Brower which was released earlier this year and details the lives, relationships and political impact of some of the White House’s most important residents from Jackie Kennedy, Patrician Nixon, Hillary Clinton and Michelle Obama and all the other women who’ve filled the role of First Lady since 1960.

According to Deadline, Reese Witherspoon’s production company and Robin Wright (who is herself no stranger to the role of First Lady after her turn as Claire Underwood in the phenomenally successful House Of Cards) are working together on the TV adaptation of Andersen Brower’s book. They also plan to get the producing team from thOscar-winning film Spotlight. Robin Wright is set to direct and executive produce the series.

The announcement comes at an interesting time for the role of First Lady. Come November, we’re set to have a former First Lady take the White House. That, or er, a man who is so awful it doesn’t bear thinking about. The current first lady Michelle Obama has spent the past eight years redefining the role culminating in last week’s blistering verbal attack on Donald Trump, a speech which had many hoping that she too would consider one day running for office. Just this weekend, Nicki Minaj got controversial by picking on prospective First Lady Melania Trump saying to the crowd at the TIDAL concert ‘You better pray to God you don’t get stuck with a motherf**king Melania.’

The role of First Lady is an important one. As Nicki Minaj said in a non-apology ‘A smart man knows he needs a certain "kind" of woman when running for President/attempting greatness.’ During her husband’s time in office, Michelle Obama has given 50 million school kids healthier school meals and snacks, got free and reduced price lunches for 21 million low income kids, has got the American Beverage Associated to put clear calorie labels on the front of their products, got the largest food manufacturers to pledge to cut 1.5 trillion calories from the food they sell. She has launched Let Girls Learn, an initiative to help girls around the world get the education they deserve. She’s been nothing short of proactive, inspiring and game changing. Michelle and Barack clearly make an equal and effective team.

For her part, Melania doesn’t seem to have the same relationship with Donald. Asked back in 1999 what kind of First Lady she would be, she said ‘I would be very traditional. Like Betty Ford or Jackie Kennedy. I would support him.’ More recently she said ‘I'm not that kind of wife who would say, 'Learn this' or 'Learn that.' I'm not a nagging wife.” Mistaking ‘nagging’ for ‘having a conversation with’.

Melania, in referring to Jackie Kennedy and Betty Ford referring to women of a completely different era, it’s unfair to compare what the public expected from a 1960's and 1970's 'wife' to today. In their own way, they too changed history. Historian and friend Arthur Schlesinger said Jackie Kennedy would ‘provide the President with withering assessments of political figures with whom he was negotiating.’ She made a speech in Spanish to Cuban fighters after the Bay Of Pigs, helped her husband through the Cuban Missile Crisis (she was presented with a plaque similar to those he gave to his top military advisors at the time), and she introduced a racially integrated kindergarten at the White House at a time when desegregation was still an enormously controversial topic.

Betty Ford, for her part, publicly supported the Supreme Court decision in favor of legal abortion and the Equal Rights Ammendemnt. She suffered from breast cancer whilst her husband was in office and, in a ‘unprecedented move’ for the time, she was entirely open with the public about her subsequent mastectomy - something which reportedly resulted in a huge uptake in American women going for mammograms.

Melania, for her part, can’t even let Donald Trump know that she poos. Which admittedly says more about Donald Trump than Melania.

Basically, fingers crossed this TV show highlights some of the outstanding and inspiring work done by the first ladies over their husbands’ time in office and fingers crossed it makes people think differently about a role that is so much more than ‘wife’ and ’supporter’.

Like this? Then you might also be interested in:

How Michelle Obama Set The Tone For The Future of Politics

Trumpkin: When Halloween, Donald Trump And Twitter Collide

Donald Trump Faces Fresh Sexual Assault Allegations** **

Follow Jess on Twitter @Jess_Commons

This article originally appeared on The Debrief.

Just so you know, whilst we may receive a commission or other compensation from the links on this website, we never allow this to influence product selections - read why you should trust us