Is Doug From 'Good Girls Revolt' A Real Person? Hunter Parrish's Character Represents Attitudes Of The Time
Imagine a paper that almost only ran articles with men in the byline. You won't have to stretch your imagination very far: The paper was Newsweek, prior to a gender discrimination law suit in 1970. This suit, and the issues and moments that led to it, are explored in Lynn Povich's non-fiction book The Good Girls Revolt, which has now been adapted into a streaming series for Amazon. Bustle reached out to Newsweek for comment on the original lawsuit and the show portraying it now, but has not yet heard back. The lawsuit resulted in a settlement in which Newsweek agreed to provide equal employment opportunities to women. The TV series, which has fictionalized elements of Povich's book (the show's paper is called News Of The Week, for example) features female characters finally fed up with the boys' club of the paper. But what of the men in the office? Hunter Parrish stars as Doug, a man whose traditional views starkly contrast his free-spirited girlfriend Patti's career aspirations. Though Hunter Parrish's Doug might not be a real person, his character represents many men of the time period.
Most of the characters on Good Girls Revolt have been changed or fictionalized from Povich's original nonfiction work, so Doug isn't a literal interpretation of a person. In an interview with Bustle, Parrish explains the kind of person that Doug stands in for on Good Girls Revolt: "[Doug's position] is to represent that guy who stands on the tightrope walk, who wants to support [Patti] for her ambition... but spent 28 years with a traditional mindset."
Parrish's character may frustrate fans of the show because he's the kind of person who not only existed in the late '60s, but exists today as well. Doug is one of the most likable characters in the office: He's charming, kind, and clearly cares for Patti. Noticeably, he isn't as overtly sexist as, say, Jim Belushi's William, who tells Nora Ephron (Grace Gummer), upon writing a great story, that only men get to be journalists at News Of The Week. Yet Parrish's character is problematic in his own way. Though he might not tell Patti her gender prohibits her from having a real career in journalism, he clearly enjoys having a girlfriend more concerned with meeting his parents for dinner than breaking a huge story.
Doug may not be a real person, but he represents a big problem in the fight for gender equality. How can you get people to want to change the system, when they are already so comfortable within it? Parrish tells Bustle that was a journey he was particularly interested in exploring throughout the season. "I hope that Doug walks the line for as long as possible, because that's what I find interesting about characters. He could so easily jump over to be supportive, but then we have already won him over and the people watching him have nothing to learn."
Here's hoping Doug learns to appreciate gender equality by the end of the season.
Image: Amazon Studios