How Aidy Bryant’s New Hulu Comedy Series ‘Shrill’ Tackles Abortion


When it comes to the politics of abortion, the new Aidy Bryant Hulu series Shrillmuch like its source material novel of the same name by Lindy West, is meeting the subject head on.

A TCA reporter today asked the producers of the upcoming streaming series, which includes Elizabeth Banks, and EP/showrunner Ali Rushfield and West, whether the show, like the novel, “deals with abortion shaming”.

West said that the series takes on “abortion in the first episode” and will be dealt with as a positive point in the life of Bryant’s protagonist “where she made decisions for herself”.

“Abortion can be an agonizing thing,” said West, “and it’s important for us to present different perspectives, not to focus on shame and regret.”

Shrill tells the story of Annie (Bryant), a young fat woman who wants to change her life, and ascend in her journalism career, but doesn’t want to change her body.

“Our show isn’t about being fat or dieting,” says Bryant about how her series deviates from previous shows that have centered around a woman battling her  weight, “it’s about her trying to achieve her goals, her relationships.”

What drew Charlies Angels’ director and Hunger Games actress Banks to Shrill?

After reading the first two chapters of West’s novel, Banks related to Shrill personally, particularly the tome’s intent on making women feel comfortable in their own skin, and not conforming to stereotypes imposed on by society.  When Banks was starting off as an actress, she told the TCA corps today that an agent at the time advised her “I needed to get a boob job. I did not get a boob job, and I decided that I was going to be happy and comfortable with who I was.”

Banks said that in shopping the show around town, they did meet with NBC before ultimately taking Shrill to Hulu, and their pitch never wavered before the broadcast network. Shrill, like its source material, could focus on key female issues. Having a show that zeroes on women’s reproductive rights in a positive way “was a great idea,” said Banks.

Says Banks about her attachment to Shrill, “I thought there could be a positive role model in this show for young women.”

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