In the course of making Parts Unknown over the years, I have encountered many women who have told me stories or part of their stories about their lives. These stories could be startlingly frank—even dangerous ones to tell—about their role in repressive cultures. They confronted or hinted at basic questions about human contentment around the world:
Are you happy?
Do you feel loved, respected, satisfied?
Do you feel powerful or powerless?
These were uncomfortable matters to talk about on television, particularly in parts of the Arab world and in parts of Africa, in Japan and elsewhere—including the United States. There are so many places where society can be relentlessly patriarchal and women are encouraged to avoid talking about such things—or even punished when they do.
I have felt moved and humbled, but I also recognize that I am not the right person to tell these stories. I feel it was inappropriate, even risky, to press for more and follow up. In countries where it is seen as improper to even shake a woman’s hand, to do so might imperil the teller. And I am not a woman nor a journalist, nor do I feel I have the gravitas for such vital and personal subjects.
So I was delighted when Christiane Amanpour approached me with her idea for this project, Sex & Love Around the World, in hopes that I could connect her with my veteran production partners at Zero Point Zero.
I have always admired Christiane and had enormous respect for her, so it was an honor to be a part of her enterprise. Her unquestionable skill, coupled with the proven production expertise and artistry of Zero Point Zero, has delivered some truly extraordinary and important hours of television.
The result is a unique look at the world and the people who live in it produced and directed entirely (and appropriately) by women. It deals with subjects that could not possibly be more timely or important. It is intimate in ways few other shows have ever attempted. It is informative and powerful as only someone with the experience, authority, and established credibility of Christiane Amanpour can bring to its stories.
I am very proud to be a part of it.
Christiane Amanpour: Sex and Love Around The World, premieres March 17th at 10pmET/PT