RUTH BADER GINSBURG

She’s the Supreme Court justice who’s tough as nails. After fracturing three ribs in a fall, Ruth Bader Ginsburg is already back to work showing the world why she is the “Notorious RBG.”

Aired on November 13, 2018.

TRANSCRIPT

> JUST ONE DAY AFTER SUPREME COURT JUSTICE RUTH BADER GINSBURG WAS ADMITTED TO THE HOSPITAL FOR BROKEN RIBS SHE IS BACK AT WORK AND PLANS TO BE ON THE BENCH AT THE NEXT SITTING OF THE SUPREME COURT AT NOVEMBER 26th.

GINSBURG WHO HAS BECOME AN IMPROBABLE POP CULTURE ICON AND IS SOMETIMES REFERRED TO AS THE NOTORIOUS RBG IS THE SUBJECT OF A NEW DOCUMENTARY TITLED 'RBG' WHICH FOLLOWS HER JOURNEY TO THE NATION'S HIGHEST COURT.

I ASK NO FAVOR FOR MY SEX.

ALL I ASK IS OUR BRETHREN IS THEY TAKE THEIR FEET OFF OUR NECKS.

WE WELCOME TODAY JUSTICE RUTH BADER GINSBURG.

SHE'S BECOME SUCH AN ICON.

DO YOU MIND SIGNING THIS COPY?

I'M 84 YEARS OLD AND EVERYONE WANTS TO TAKE A PICTURE WITH ME.

NOTORIOUS RBG.

YEAH.

WHEN YOU COME RIGHT DOWN TO IT, THE CLOSEST THING TO THE SUPERHERO I KNOW.

RUTH BADER GINSBURG CHANGED THE WORLD FOR AMERICAN WOMEN.

JACK FORD RECENTLY SAT DOWN WITH THE AWARD WINNING FILMMAKERS BETSY WEST AND COHEN AND ASKED THEM IF THEY'D COME UP WITH SUCH AN INTERESTING FILM.

WE WERE PRETTY SURE AS YOU MENTIONED SHE'S BECOME THE NOTORIOUS RBG.

SHE HAS SO MANY FANS BUT BOTH JULIE AND I HAD INTERVIEWED JUSTICE GINSBURG BEFORE HER INTERNET FAME.

THE FACT THAT SHE'S REALLY THE LEGAL ARCHITECT OF THE WOMEN'S MOVEMENT AND A ROMANCE, AND WE FELT THIS COULD MAKE A GOOD DOCUMENTARY.

IF WE GET HER COOPERATION, LET'S TRY TO DO IT.

HOW DID YOU FIND YOU WERE ABLE TO GET THE ACCESS THAT YOU NEEDED TO DO THIS?

AND WAS IT A HARD SELL?

IT WAS A LONG, SLOW SELL.

PUT IT THAT WAY.

WHEN WE FIRST APPROACHED JUSTICE GINSBURG WITH THIS IDEA IN EARLY 2015 SAYING WE WANT TO TELL YOUR LIFE STORY AS A DOCUMENTARY, SHE SAID NOT YET.

AND DID YOU GET THE KIND OF ACCESS THAT YOU WOULD HOPE TO GET?

WE DID.

WE DID.

HOW AND WHY HAS SHE BECOME THIS ENORMOUS ICON?

THIS CULTURAL ICON AMONGST -- I'M ASTONISHED ABOUT HOW MANY OF THE YOUNG PEOPLE HAVE LATCHED ON TO HER.

YEAH.

WHY?

ABSOLUTELY.

I MEAN, IT'S AN UNUSUAL COUNTERPART FROM OUR USUAL, YOU KNOW, KARDASHIAN SAY INTERNET ICON.

NO DISRESPECT TO THE KARDASHIANS.

BUT THEY'RE A BIT DIFFERENT.

THEY HAVEN'T EXACTLY HAD THE ACHIEVEMENTS, YOU KNOW, IN CHANGING THE WAY WE VIEW THE CONSTITUTION THAT SAY RUTH BADER GINSBURG HAS.

WE THINK THAT IN PART THE YOUNG PEOPLE KIND OF LIKE THE JUXTAPOSITION OF THIS TINY LITTLE SOFT-SPOKEN INTELLECTUAL 85-YEAR-OLD GRANDMA WHO, YOU KNOW, THE KIND OF THING THAT HAPPENED ON THE INTERNET.

THEY PUT THE CROWNS ON HER HEAD.

THERE ARE TOTE BAGS, TATTOOS.

A NUMBER OF PEOPLE HAVE RBG TATTOOS.

YOU WILL SEE IT IN THE FILM AND SHE DOESN'T LIKE IT AT ALL.

DID IT SHED ANY LIGHT ON YOU OF THE CONCEPT OF JUSTICE, THE WAY SHE APPROACHES THE CONCEPT OF JUSTICE AND THE ROLE OF A JUSTICE IN THE SYSTEM?

YEAH.

I MEAN, I'M NOT A LAWYER.

I THINK WORKING ON THIS FILM GAVE ME A GREATER RESPECT FOR THE ROLE OF THE JUDICIARY ESPECIALLY AT A TIME WHEN, YOU KNOW, OUR INSTITUTIONS HAVE BEEN UNDER FIRE.

AND TO SEE THE IMPACT THAT JUSTICE GINSBURG'S WORK HAS HAD ON WOMEN ESPECIALLY.

WHAT -- WHERE DID YOU GET TO THAT YOU NEVER ANTICIPATED OR THAT SURPRISED YOU THE MOST FROM THIS?

I THINK I WAS SURPRISED BY THE DEPTH OF JUSTICE GINSBURG'S ROMANCE, LOVE STORY WITH MARTY GINSBURG.

WE KNEW THAT SHE HAD A LONG AND HAPPY MARRIAGE.

BUT THE ROLE THAT HE PLAYED IN HER LIFE IN BOTH HER PERSONAL HAPPINESS AND HER PROFESSIONAL ACCOMPLISHMENTS AS A SUPPORTIVE HUSBAND, THAT TO ME WAS EXTRAORDINARY.

YOU KNOW, HE WAS SO PROUD OF HER FROM THE MOMENT THEY MET AT CORNELL, SHE WAS SO BRILLIANT.

HE RECOGNIZED IT.

HERE SHE IS, A BEAUTIFUL WOMAN.

YOU SEE HOW BEAUTIFUL SHE WAS AND MARTY LOVED HER BECAUSE SHE HAD A BRAIN.

THAT WENT ON THROUGHOUT THEIR CAREER.

YOU KNOW, HE WAS A VERY OUTGOING, AFFABLE GUY.

HE WOUND UP LOBBYING FOR HER TO BE ON THE SUPREME COURT.

APPARENTLY VERY SUCCESSFULLY AND YOU KNOW, THAT'S A VERY SURPRISING AND MOVING STORY.

YOU BOTH HAVE HAD GREAT SUCCESS IN THE BUSINESS.

BUT THIS IS AN EXAMPLE OF THE BEST OF FILMMAKING, THE BEST IT CAN SHOW US.

ENTERTAINING, ENGAGING, INFORMATIVE AND IMPRESSIVE IN A LOT OF WAYS.

SO CONGRATULATIONS ON YOUR WORK.

THANK YOU.

I THINK PEOPLE ARE GOING TO LOVE THIS.

BETSY AND JULIE, ALWAYS GOOD TO SEE YOU.

Funders

MetroFocus is made possible by James and Merryl Tisch, Sue and Edgar Wachenheim III, the Sylvia A. and Simon B. Poyta Programming Endowment to Fight Anti-Semitism, Bernard and Irene Schwartz, Rosalind P. Walter, Barbara Hope Zuckerberg, Jody and John Arnhold, the Cheryl and Philip Milstein Family, Janet Prindle Seidler, Judy and Josh Weston and the Dr. Robert C. and Tina Sohn Foundation.

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