HBO’s new streaming service, HBO Max, has acquired a new documentary executive produced by Monica Lewinsky and Max Joseph (Catfish), called 15 Minutes of Shame. The doc will take an in-depth look at the public shaming epidemic in culture, featuring people from around the world who have been publicly shamed, as well as “the bullies, the bystanders, the media, psychologists, politicians, and experts in between.”
The doc is currently in production, and HBO Max launches next spring.
There is perhaps no better person to helm such a project than the self-described “Patient Zero of losing a reputation on a global scale almost instantaneously,” as Lewinsky described herself in her 2015 TED talk entitled “The Price of Shame.”
Lewinsky says this project has been in the works for more than a year, and that she has largely been working to bring together Joseph, author Jon Ronson (So You’ve Been Publicly Shamed), and production company Six West. “This really has been a labor of love, and we’re so thrilled to be working with HBO Max and to have it on this new streaming channel,” she tells Fast Company. “We’re going to be taking both the domestic and an international look at this global epidemic of public shaming, how this culture of humiliation has formed, and how we’ve gone from kind of Warhol’s 15 minutes of fame to 15 minutes of shame.”
Last week, Lewinsky debuted her third annual PSA to raise awareness around cyberbullying. “I think my experiences of not only what happened to me 21 years ago, but the work that I’ve done with a number of anti-bullying organizations, the work that I’ve been able to do with BBDO New York on the PSA—those will all inform the lens that I’ll bring in as an executive producer,” she says. “Something that’s important to all of us is looking at [this issue] and talking about today’s world and culture, while making sure that we’re moving the conversation forward and not just pointing fingers.”