FX has released the first trailer for Mrs. America, a miniseries about the fight over the Equal Rights Amendment in the 1970s, starring Cate Blanchett as antifeminist and leading homophobe Phyllis Schlafly.
The series, to be shown on the streaming service Hulu, explores how the battle over the still-unratified ERA, which would amend the constitution to ban sex discrimination, gave rise to the culture wars that continue in the U.S. regarding LGBTQ rights, abortion, and other issues.
The subject matter "couldn't have been more relevant" to today's politics, Blanchett said Thursday at a Television Critics Association event in Pasadena, Calif., where the trailer was unveiled, according to The Hollywood Reporter. She is also an executive producer of the series, which will drop the first three of its nine episodes April 15.
Schlafly, who died in 2016 at age 92, was most famous for her resistance to the ERA, but she was also a devout opponent of LGBTQ rights, despite having a gay son, John. She once said the movement for marriage equality "isn't about granting equality of human rights" but "about getting rid of the traditional values and institutions that have guided the Western world, including America." She expressed longing for the days when same-sex relations were criminalized and called acceptance of transgender people "just plain nuts." She said the ERA would lead to same-sex marriage and unisex restrooms.
Along with Schlafly, the series portrays many other real-life figures, in addition to fictional characters. The real-life feminists depicted include Gloria Steinem (Rose Byrne), Shirley Chisholm (Uzo Aduba), Bella Abzug (Margo Martindale), Betty Friedan (Tracey Ullman), Jill Ruckelshaus (Elizabeth Banks), and Flo Kennedy (Niecy Nash). On the opposing side, out actress Sarah Paulson rejoins her Carol costar Blanchett by playing a fictional character named Alice, based on a friend of Schlafly's. John Slattery portrays Schlafly's husband, Fred, while James Marsden has the role of right-wing Congressman Phil Crane. John Schlafly is apparently not included in the series.