NOTORIOUS “RBG”

Tonight, we take a look at the longest-serving Jewish Supreme Court Justice. Find out why Ruth Bader Ginsburg is the notorious “RBG.”

For more information on the film, click here. 

Aired on December 19, 2018 and September 5, 2019. 

TRANSCRIPT

> THE UNITED STATES SUPREME COURT JUSTICE RUTH BADER GINSBURG OR 'THE NOTORIOUS RBG' AS THE INTERNET WORLD HAS COME TO CALL HER, HAS RECENTLY BECOME AN UNEXPECTED POP CULTURE ICON OF SORTS.

A NEW DOCUMENTARY TITLED 'RBG' FOLLOWS THE UNIQUE PERSONAL JOURNEY OF IN QUIET WARRIOR'S RISE TO THE NATION'S HIGHEST COURT.

TAKE A QUICK LOOK.

I ASK NO FAVOR FOR MY SEX.

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

WE WELCOME TODAY JUSTICE RUTH BADER GINSBURG.

[ CHEERS ]

SHE'S BECOME SUCH AN ICON.

WOULD YOU MIND SIGNING THIS COPY?

I AM 84 YEARS OLD, AND EVERYONE WANTS TO TAKE A PICTURE WITH ME.

[ LAUGHTER ] RBG.

YEAH.

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

RUTH BADER GINSBURG CHANGED THE WAY THE WORLD IS FOR AMERICAN WOMEN.

AND HERE TO TELL US MORE ABOUT THE FILM, CO-DIRECTORS AWARD-WINNING FILMMAKERS AND EMMY AWARD-WINNING VETERAN JOURNALISTS AND FRIENDS A LONG TIME AGO, BETSY WEST AND JULIE COHEN.

LADIES, WELCOME.

NICE TO HAVE YOU HERE.

THANK YOU VERY MUCH.

GREAT TO BE HERE.

I WATCHED IT, IT WAS FABULOUS.

I EXPECTED IT TO BE GOOD BECAUSE I KNOW THE QUALITY OF YOUR WORK.

IT EXCEEDED MY EXPECTATIONS, AND MY EXPECTATIONS WERE PRETTY HIGH.

GOING INTO THIS, KNOWING HOW INTERESTING SHE WAS, WERE YOU CERTAIN THAT IT -- YOU COULD GET AN INTERESTING FILM OUT OF IT?

YOU KNOW, 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 SOME YEARS BACK BEFORE HER INTERNET FAME.

AND WE KNEW THERE WAS SO MUCH MORE TO HER STORY.

I MEAN, THE FACT THAT SHE'S REALLY THE LEGAL ARCHITECT OF THE WOMEN'S MOVEMENT AND AN AMAZING ROMANCE.

AND WE THOUGHT, WELL, THIS COULD MAKE A GREAT DOCUMENTARY IF WE COULD GET HER COOPERATION.

IT COULD BE A GREAT DOCUMENTARY.

AND LET'S TRY AND DO IT.

HOW BUT 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.

LET'S IT OUT IT THAT WAY.

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

AND DID YOU GET THE KIND OF ACCESS YOU HAD HOPED TO GET?

THE.

WE DID.

YOU 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.

WHY?

YEAH.

ABSOLUTELY.

I MEAN, IT'S NOT UNUSUAL COUNTERPART FROM OUR USUAL, YOU KNOW, KARDASHIAN, SAY, INTERNET ICONS.

NO DISRESPECT TO THE KARDASHIANS.

BUT --

THERE'S A DIFFERENCE.

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

WE THINK THAT ON NIN PART THE Y PEOPLE LIKE THIS JUXTAPOSITION OF THE 85-YEAR-OLD GRANDMA TO THE KIND OF THING THAT HAPPENED ON THE INTERNET.

THEY PUT THE CROWNS ON HER HEAD, THERE ARE TOTEBAGS, T-SHIRTS, TATTOOS.

A NUMBER OF PEOPLE HAVE 'RBG' TATTOOS.

YEW YOU'LL SEE THEM IN THE FILM.

SHE DOES NOT LIKE THEM.

THERE IS SOMETHING MORE SERIOUS BEHIND IT, AS WELL.

DID IT SHED LIGHT ON THE NOTION OF JUSTICE?

THE CONCEPT OF JUSTICE, THE WAY SHE APPROACHES THE CONCEPT OF SKB JUSTICE AND A ROLE OF THE JUSTICE IN THE SYSTEM?

YEAH.

I AM NOT A LAWYER, AND 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?

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

WE KNEW THAT SHE'D 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, THAT SHE WAS SO BRILLIANT, HE RECOGNIZED IT.

HERE SHE IS, A BEAUTIFUL WOMAN.

YOU SEE HOW BEAUTIFUL SHE WAS.

MARTY LOVED HER BECAUSE SHE HAD A BRAIN.

AND 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.

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

SO JULIA, YOUR JOURNEY, WHAT YOU FOUND ANY DIFFERENT FROM BETSY'S?

WELL, I CERTAINLY AGREE WITH WHAT BETSY SAID.

YOU KNOW, WE SET OUT TO MAKE A FILM ABOUT SOMETHING PRETTY SERIOUS.

LET'S FACE IT, AT THE HEART OF IT IS CONSTITUTIONAL LAW AND CONCEPTIONS OF CONSTITUTION.

I THINK MAYBE WHAT SURPRISED ME WAS HOW FUN AND FUNNY THE STORY TURNED OUT TO BE.

JUSTICE GINSBURG ALTHOUGH SHE'S KNOWN AS RESERVED, HAS A SHOP ZINGERY KIND OF WIT THAT YOU SEE.

YOU BOTH HAVE HAD GREAT SUCCESS IN THE BUSINESS.

AS AN EXAMPLE OF THE BEST OF FILMMAKING, I THINK, THE BEST THAT IT CAN SHOW US, ENTERTAINING, ENGAGING, INFORMATIVE, AND IMPRESSIVE IN A LOT OF WAYS.

THANK YOU, JACK.

I THINK PEOPLE ARE GOING TO LOVE THIS.

THANK YOU VERY MUCH.

ALWAYS GOOD TO SEE YOU.

THANK YOU.

JUSTICE RUTH BADER GINSBURG AND CONVERSATION WILL AIR ON JANUARY 2nd ON WLIW AT 9:00 P.M.

ON.

JANUARY 7th ON 13 AT 9:00 P.M., AND ON NJTV ON JANUARY 10th ALSO AT 9:00 P.M.

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