Friday, October 08, 2021


15 MINUTES OF SHAME is a tightly edited, well-organised new documentary from Exec Producer Monica Lewinsky and Catfish TV show co-host/director Max Joseph.  The documentary has two strands. The first tells us the history of public shaming, from the ancient Greeks via tarring and feathering, to present day cancel culture. It does so with a curated collection of talking heads from eminent academic and activist backgrounds.  The other strand features people who have had their lives ruined by public shaming, and crucially, not for having done anything wrong.  People who correctly called out racism or Trump's lunacy or just happened to make a hand gesture that got misinterpreted as racist. And there are real consequences for their mental health and livelihood. All of this stuff is punching down, just as it was for Monica Lewinsky. Far easier to call a young woman a slut than an old powerful man a predatory sexual abuser.  I learned a lot from this doc - especially about social media companies lack of legal liability under Federal law, and also about the evolution of troll farms. The personal testimonies were also deeply moving. This really is required viewing.

15 MINUTES OF SHAME has a running time of 85 minutes and is available to stream on HBO Max.

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