FX’s American Crime Story has never shied away from controversial stories, but this one might be the biggest yet.
The third season will cover the Bill Clinton Impeachment scandal based on Jeffrey Toobin’s book, Vast Conspiracy the Real Story of the Sex Scandal that Nearly Brought Down a President. It will tell the story of the 1998 Impeachment of Bill Clinton for his affair with then 22-year-old White House intern Monica Lewinsky.
In fairness to FX, it has been almost a quarter of a century since the trial. It’s been 23 years and the public’s views of the events of that time have changed in the wake of the “Me Too” movement and social media. This was a time when secrets were not revealed in real-time, and people did not have cell phones that sent a status or a tweet to millions of viewers.
It will be interesting to see how FX treats the very real and active members of the scandal. From the perspective of the teaser, one follows Monica Lewinsky, in a red business dress, as she puts a note on top of a tie in a gift box brings it with her folders, and walks to the Oval Office in the West Wing. The camera pans to that well-known hallway which has brought staffers and history alike down its a long corridor of Presidential portraits into the Oval Office Suites. Presidential Secretary, Bettie Currie, in her formal voice, is there to announce and usher Monica Lewinsky into the storied Oval Office where a distant Bill Clinton sits behind the Resolute Desk. The door closes and the teaser ends. One gets chills not only from not only the music and the suspense but from the knowledge of what we know and don’t know all that passed in 1995.
While it would be a challenge to play any famous character in recent history, it will especially be true of Monica Lewinsky and President Bill Clinton, who are both still in the public spotlight. Those tough assignments go to Beanie Feldstein (Booksmart, Lady Bird) who portrays Lewinsky and Clive Owen (Children of Men, Lisey’s Story) will play President Bill Clinton.
The rest of the story is a who’s who in Hollywood with Edie Falco as Hillary Clinton, Sarah Paulson as Linda Tripp, Margo Martindale as Lucianne Goldberg, Annaleigh Ashford as Paula Jones, Billy Eichner as Matt Drudge, and Betty Gilpin as Ann Coulter.
Monica Lewinsky serves as a producer on the show and the executive producers will be Ryan Murphy, Nina Jacobson, Brad Simpson, Brad Falchuk, Larry Karaszewski, Scott Alexander, Alexis Martin Woodall, Hannah Fidell, Paulson, and Sarah Burgess, who will also serve as the senior writer.
The project was announced in 2017 but delayed between discussions for the rights of Toobin’s book as well as controversy dropping the series in the middle of the 2020 Presidential Election. It was decided to start filming after the election only to get delayed again due to Covid-19. It will finally air in September 2021.
Previous seasons of American Crime Story have featured The People v OJ Simpson and the Assassination of Gianni Versace.