The Morning Show has proven that it has no interest in shying away from big issues. After all, the series launches with the firing of morning news cohost Mitch Kessler (Steve Carell) following allegations of sexual misconduct. And the story doesn’t end there. As Mitch continues to grapple with what he did and who he is, his former co-workers are doing the same. In the third episode of the Apple TV+ series, one of Mitch’s former colleagues is in his old dressing room when she reaches down and presses a button underneath his desk. Then, slowly, the door to his dressing room shuts.
The button became a topic of discussion after NBC fired Today’s Matt Lauer following accusations of sexual misconduct in 2017. It was then widely reported that Lauer had a button under his desk that would shut and/or lock his office door. In May 2018, The Hollywood Reporter obtained a copy of a report NBC sent to its staff that stated, “According to the NBCUniversal facilities team, the button is a commonly available feature in executive offices in multiple NBCUniversal facilities to provide an efficient way to close the door without getting up from the desk. The button releases a magnet that holds the door open. It does not lock the door from the inside.”
When it comes to The Morning Show’s decision to include a similar button as part of Mitch’s story, showrunner Kerry Ehrin says, “We went back and forth. But ultimately, I’ve known so many people who have had those buttons in their offices and I didn’t realize they could be used in different contexts. It seemed like a real thing that happens in the world.”
Morning Show star and executive producer Jennifer Aniston adds, “I remembered the button because when I did Horrible Bosses, my character had a button. Then I realized that that actually happens. I always thought it was just something I saw in movies or on TV.”
In the show, the scene plays out with no dialogue, which star and executive producer Reese Witherspoon thinks is particularly important. “The fact that people know exactly what that is with no dialogue? It’s very powerful.”
The Morning Show launched Nov. 1 on Apple TV+.