Social media erupts for Robyn Doolittle after male reporter is cast in Rob Ford movie

By: Meaghan Wray

Social media was abuzz on Tuesday night (April 11) after casting news was released for Run This Town , an upcoming film loosely based on former Toronto mayor Rob Ford. Homeland’s Damian Lewis is set to play the late politician, but of most concern was the casting choice for the journalist who investigated his political reign.

Globe and Mail reporter Robyn Doolittle, who penned Crazy Town: The Rob Ford Story, was heavily involved in the investigation and coverage during Rob’s time in office. But instead of casting a woman for the role, the filmmakers went with Ben Platt (of Pitch Perfect ) to represent a fictional reporter. The 33-year-old writer took to Twitter to voice her concern with this choice, writing, “I’m glad they’re rewriting the fact that it was a female reporter who investigated Rob Ford. Why have a woman be a lead character when a man could do it?”

As one of the first journalists, along with John Cook of the defunct publication Gawker, to dive deep into Rob’s personal life, Robyn played a significant role in breaking the story about his serious drug abuse before he died in 2016. Though the journalist, who’s currently on maternity leave, doesn’t fault Ben for accepting the role, she maintained on her social media that the choice is all-too familiar, saying, “I’ve seen a lot of stories by male reporters celebrated in movies…”

The 24-year-old actor had something to say about the choice, too, defending the film as a “completely fictional” drama. The young star voiced his opinion on the matter with a message published to his Twitter account. “The film we are making centers on three fictional young people played by myself, Nina Dobrevand Mena Massoud trying to find a place in the world of politics and journalism, set against the backdrop of the Rod Ford scandal.” He later went on to express, “It is not a Rob Ford biopic nor a retelling of the successful reporting on the Rob Ford scandal by Robyn Doolittle.”

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