Charlie Rose’s Sexual Harassment Was Depicted in ‘The Royal Tenenbaums’ 16 Years Ago

You know, I just watched The Royal Tennebaums again a few weeks ago; it’s one of those movies I’ll watch every few years because Wes Anderson’s movies are basically magic. The cinematography and surreal imagery he uses in this movie specifically, about a man who tries to bring his family of former child prodigies back together after decades of estrangement, is fascinating and inspiring. Also, if you haven’t figured it out by now, I’m extremely white and pretentious.

What I didn’t notice, what I’m ashamed to say didn’t even occur to me, is that the recent sexual harassment allegations against Charlie Rose were pretty much directly addressed by this film, which was released 16 years ago. It was noticed by multiple Twitter users, including this one which showed up on my timeline over the Thanksgiving holiday.

Now, of course I noticed that Peter Bradley was supposed to be Charlie Rose. It’s hard to mistake the look of the Charlie Rose Show, it’s been widely parodied as sort of the ur-example of dry, boring PBS interview shows. I just never put it together that Bradley groping Margot Tenenbaum was a reference to Charlie Rose’s behavior when it came out, even though my latest rewatch was fresh in my mind.

It’s also worth pointing out that while Paltrow only went on Charlie Rose once. After making The Royal Tenenbaums, Wes Anderson went on Charlie Rose a bunch times. In fact, shortly after the movie came out in theaters, Anderson was a guest host on an episode where he interviewed legendary Hollywood producer Robert Evans. So it’s possible this was a coincidence, I guess. Either way, it gives a new layer to a movie that’s already a classic to pretentious white people like me everywhere.

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