Newsbeat

Jennifer Aniston and Reese Witherspoon: We're not just wives and girlfriends

"A lot of wives and girlfriends."

Not exactly a great stretch - but those are the roles Reese Witherspoon says women used to be offered.

Sitting alongside Jennifer Aniston, as stars and executive producers of The Morning Show on Apple TV+, she says streaming services are proving positive for women in their industry.

"Audiences are very diverse and they're 50 percent women, ‎their stories weren't being told. Women had a narrow range of things to play," she tells Radio 1 Newsbeat.

‎The #MeToo Movement

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The drama is one of the first series to be offered on the Apple service. Users have to pay £4.99 per ‎month to access shows.‎

Set behind the scenes of an American TV breakfast show, it uses the #MeToo movement as a ‎fundamental part of the storyline.‎

‎"It would feel irresponsible not to address it considering it was happening in the culture as we were telling ‎the story," adds Jennifer.‎

‎"We were all made very aware that darker stuff than I could ever imagine was going on."

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It's the first time Jennifer Aniston has starred in a TV show since Friends came off air in 2004.

She plays ‎presenter Alex Levy who's coming to terms with the news that her co-host of 15 years (played by Steve ‎Carell) has been accused of sexually harassing junior members of their team. ‎

It has parallels to the real-life story of former American host Matt Lauer, who was sacked by the NBC Today ‎show in 2017. He denies all the allegations against him.‎

‎"I think we're all finding our way in this cultural shift and learning what role we play, so it was important to ‎have men be part of that conversation. Steve Carell being part of the show was a huge thing. It was how ‎he decided to join the conversation about sexual harassment and sexism and ageism."

The show only added in the #MeToo storyline later in the production process but, as executive ‎producers, both stars believe their show has a role to play.‎

‎"I think the show will move people to check themselves at the door and see what's going on at their work ‎and what they have allowed to happen or turn a blind eye to," says Aniston.‎

Both are adamant they're enjoying both filming and producing on the show - describing it in unison as ‎‎"so fulfilling".‎

According to Jennifer, "We were almost doing it without being given the title. I just like to be involved."

Image copyright Getty Images

However, the pair suggest it's only because of streaming that they've been given their production roles. ‎

Reese Witherspoon says: "I've found with the emergence of streaming, we're getting much more diverse ‎storytelling.‎

‎"Creators like Jordan Peel and Lena Waithe. You have us as producers. Ten years ago, this isn't a ‎project they'd let us spearhead".‎

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