By Ray Hagar, Nevada Newsmakers
Marilyn York, Reno’s well-known men’s rights divorce lawyer, has just wrapped up shooting a “reality TV show” pilot about her professional life for the Bravo Network.
But the future of the show, York says, remains uncertain.
“Right now, they are editing, trying to make me funny, I think,” York said Wednesday on Nevada Newsmakers. “So they filmed for four days straight, roughly 12 hours a day. Now they have to edit it into a 22-minute pilot for the actual network. So we are going to have to see what becomes of it.”
York said in a Nevada Newsmakers interview last July that she could soon have a reality TV show or a scripted series about her work defending men in divorce proceedings. Yet it was the reality-show version that the network wanted.
“It’s all me and my family and my workplace and my (office) girls, clients, my dad, my dog,” she said. “My dog has a lot of air time.”
Now that the pilot is complete, York said she doesn’t know what to expect next.
“They said the channel could say no,” York said. “The channel could say yes. The channel could say no, they change their mind; they could say yes, then never air it. Apparently it is just completely up in the air at this point and they are the boss of me.”
Overall, York is pleased with the filming and thinks a show on the men’s side of divorce could be compelling TV.
“I think there is room in the industry for a genuine dimension in reality and I think this show will give that to them,” she said. “If the world is ready. If the network is ready, I think this can actually bring some integrity back to reality (TV), some dimension, some real soul, some real life, some true humor in a dark way that I think is cathartic and healthy for people going through this.
“I mean, 48 percent of marriages end in divorce,” York continued. “So it affects so many families. Even those who don’t get divorced, their kids do. So every family has been touched by some sort of divorce or separation, out-of-wedlock baby-making fights. So I think this would really be resonating in American households.”
The show will include York’s office staff, although two declined to be in the show. It will also include her husband and children. She does not know how it will turn out because neither she nor her family will be part of the editing process.
The lack of “say-so” in the final product can be disconcerting, York said.
“It would be nice to see it,” York said about the show. “The way the contract states, we probably won’t because they want to protect it. To never be disseminated. They do have full editing power.”
She joked that maybe the should have given the contract more thought.
“I mean that is a scary thing to sign a contract that says, ‘We can make you look like a psycho,’ ” she said. “I can make me look like a psycho. I don’t need you.”
Others in the show have more anxiety about how the show will turn out than she does, York said.
“So some of the people in the show are worried,” she said. “My husband is worried about that. I am not as worried as my attorney is because I do have attorneys involved who say, ‘Why would they screw you over like that?’ They are going to air you and make you look awful when you are the star of the show? Then they don’t have a next season because you are all pissed off.
“It not like a game show where you are one character,” York said. “This is about me. So in theory, they are going to try to keep me happy, in the sense of showing all of my sides. I’m really not sensitive to looking like a jerk. It is just that I have more to offer than just being a jerk. So I’m fine if they show that. But I think they need to show all of the different dimensions that this job and my life requires.”
York, who is well-known for her provocative TV commercials, said the experience of filming those commercials helped in filming the reality show.
Filming the reality show, however, started early in the morning.
“I thought, ‘Oh this is going to feel really weird and unnatural,” York said of the filming the reality show. “They literally were in my house at six in the morning when I woke up, like a camera in my face. I thought it would be weird. It should be weird but it really wasn’t that weird, which is weird.
“They were really close to me when I was not wearing any makeup and I could care less,” she said. “I’m totally not one of those girls who thinks I’m pretty and has to be pretty. So they were right there and I was in my fuzzy pink robe with holes in it. Looking good.”
The “Me Too” movement
York also gave her opinion on the “Me too” movement to combat sexual assault and/or sexual harassment in the workplace.
“I think the change is necessary. It is certainly the beginning of the change,” she said. “I don’t love the movement, to be honest, but I love the message.”
York said the movement against sexual harassment and sexual assault has been hampered by the “Me too” movement.
“It’s just watered down and a bunch of dorks are jumping on the bandwagon. “Me Too’ and all over, it is just a meaningless statement and they don’t give any depth to the ‘Me Too,’ ” she said. “Like what does it exactly mean? What did you actually experience? What are we not tolerating?
“What we need to start with is the extreme (sexual harassment and sexual assault) and work on that first and ‘Me Too’ isn’t the extreme,” York said.
“And that is just getting traction and I get it,” York said. “But it has no effect for me. In fact, it has become a joke already. I mean, most people joke about it. Everyone that touches you (says) ‘Me Too’ and I do think that is kind of funny.”
Yet the ‘Me Too” movement is having an impact, she said.
“It is having an effect on the top end, meaning the Hollywood world, the political world as far as men behaving horribly and I don’t mean badly. I’m talking about roofing people (spiking drinks with drugs) and raping them. It has been tolerated way too long and it is disgusting. It needs to stop and if this is how people bring attention to it, then great.”
York sees the harassment and assault as a generational thing.
“It is the older generation exploiting the younger generation trying to come into the political workforce and the Hollywood industry,” she said. “It is really sad.”