On the night Felicity Huffman spent in jail for the college admissions scandal this, there was a very Hollywood juxtaposition going on in screening rooms.
Netflix was showing press a movie called “Otherhood,” written and directed by Cindy Chupack, of “Sex and the City” fame.
The movie stars Huffman, Angela Bassett, and Patricia Arquette. It’s due for release on April 26th. From what I’ve heard, it’s pretty good.
That’s no surprise. Unlike her unlikely comrade (I don’t even think they know each other) Lori Loughlin, Felicity Huffman is a serious actress. She’s got indie cred, an Oscar nomination, a Golden Globe, and a Prime Time Emmy Award. She’s appeared on Broadway in David Mamet’s “Speed the Plow.”
Huffman also has a mini-series coming to Netflix in May. She plays prosecutor Linda Fairstein in Ava Duvernay’s “When They See Us,” about the Central Park Five. This is a very high profile project, and Huffman is playing a famous prosecutor. Her role can’t be re-filmed with Christopher Plummer. And you know she’s done Emmy award winning work as Fairstein.
So what will Netflix do? They are in a bind. Huffman, who is beloved, was arrested and indicted. In two weeks she will have to appear in federal court in Boston.
A couple of years ago, after the MeToo scandal broke, I asked a Netflix official what they would do if they were in Amazon’s situation with Woody Allen. The answer: they’d just pay him and give him his movie back and be done with it.
So that’s clearly what Netflix probably wants to do with Huffman. But they are stuck with the two imminent releases.
The Hallmark Channel has dumped Lori Loughlin from their mutual deals, and they’ll probably write her out of her series. (Who knows? Maybe they’ll kill her character.)
I hope Netflix stays cool on this, and just allows the shows to roll forward. Huffman has never lived the high life. She and husband William H. Macy have always been low key. We have yet to hear the explanation for how they got involved in this scandal. And their participation was minimal compared to the other defendants. Huffman is innocent until proven guilty. And whatever she did takes nothing away from her talent as an actress.