Scoop (2024) parents guide

Scoop (2024) Parent Guide

An exciting story, brilliant cast, and real life scandal come together to make a fascinating journalism film.

Overall B

Netflix: An insider's account of how BBC journalists were able to secure an interview with Prince Andrew about his relationship with convicted pedophile Jeffrey Epstein.

Release date April 5, 2024

Violence B+
Sexual Content C-
Profanity D+
Substance Use B

Why is Scoop (2024) rated TV-14? The MPAA rated Scoop (2024) TV-14 for child abuse references, language, nudity, sexual violence references

Run Time: 102 minutes

Parent Movie Review

Nine years after being seen with notorious sex trafficker and pedophile Jeffrey Epstein (Colin Wells), Prince Andrew, Duke of York (Rufus Sewell) is desperate to shed his “Playboy Prince” image. His public relations expert is encouraging outreach to friendly journalists – tea and crumpets along with casual conversation should get the spotlight off “Randy Andy” and focused instead on the prince’s work with young entrepreneurs.

Over at BBC Newsnight, Sam McAlister (Billie Piper) is urgently trying to find interview subjects willing to speak with formidable host Emily Maitlis (Gillian Anderson). When a paparazzi photographer sends her pics of young girls who frequent Epstein’s house, Sam senses a story. After Epstein’s arrest, Sam recognizes ratings gold. Now Sam’s efforts to build relationships with Andrew’s staff might finally pay off. If she can get Andrew to appear on Newsnight, ratings will skyrocket – and Sam’s job will be secure.

Prince Andrew’s interview is a matter of public record as the disaster that ended his career as a working royal. Since most viewers will be aware of this, Scoop must find other ways to maintain tension throughout the film. It does so by focusing on the process; not the results. Watching Sam and Emily persuade the prince to come on the show is like watching a fisherman try to land a large fish, slackening the line, and then reeling him back in again. The same strategy comes into play during the interview, as Emily avoids “gotcha” journalism, instead giving the prince plenty of opportunity to tell his story – and letting him condemn himself with his own words. Karma doesn’t get much sweeter than this.

One of the delights of this production is watching an outstanding cast at work. Rufus Sewell does not physically resemble Prince Andrew, but he effortlessly assumes his persona, offering a convincing portrayal of the now-disgraced Duke of York. Gillian Anderson brings patrician grace to her role, all steely determination and carefully concealed nerves. And Billie Piper is perfectly cast as Sam McAlister, the brash, colorfully-dressed producer who is determined to find stories that matter and earn a seat at the table. Add in Keeley Hawes as the prince’s devoted and anxious private secretary, and the table is set for plenty of high-stakes negotiations.

The script deserves commendation for its careful handling of the sexual abuse at the heart of the story. Sexual trafficking and the abuse of underage girls is horrific, and it is rightly treated as such in the script, which thankfully avoids explicit detail. There is some discussion of scandalous details surrounding Jeffrey Epstein’s crimes, but aside from a dozen or so profanities, negative content is kept to the minimum. The film’s TV-14 rating is fair, and this movie is suitable for adults and older teens with an interest in journalism, the royal family, or related issues.

Scoop is the kind of film streaming platforms do best – a mid-budget movie, low on special effects but high on issues. These films fail to gain a place in suburban multiplexes but attract viewers who want a well-written film that gives them plenty to think about. If you just can’t get enough, you’ll be pleased to know that A Very Royal Scandal, a three-part series based on Emily Maitlis’s perspective, is currently being produced for Amazon Prime. Amazon has missed getting their own scoop, but they will likely pick up audiences who enjoy this Netflix release.

Directed by Philip Martin. Starring Gillian Anderson, Keeley Hawes, Rufus Sewell. Running time: 102 minutes. Theatrical release April 5, 2024. Updated

Watch the trailer for Scoop (2024)

Scoop (2024)
Rating & Content Info

Why is Scoop (2024) rated TV-14? Scoop (2024) is rated TV-14 by the MPAA for child abuse references, language, nudity, sexual violence references

Violence: There’s mention of a man’s suicide in prison. A man briefly reminisces about military service during the Falklands War.
Sexual Content: There’s mention of men having sex with underage girls, sometimes under coercion. There are very brief glimpses of grainy photos of naked people, possibly having sex. Journalists talk about genital-shaped soap, Monica Lewinsky’s dress, and a life-sized naked doll.  A man is filmed from behind as he gets out of the bath; the camera cuts away before his buttocks show. He is later seen from behind in dim light; it’s unclear if he’s completely undressed or not.
Profanity: The script contains 13 swear words, including eight terms of deity, a scatological curse and pairs of sexual expletives and minor profanities.
Alcohol / Drug Use: Adults drink alcohol while meeting at a bar.

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Scoop (2024) Parents' Guide

If you want to look at the real-life events, you can watch the following clips:

YouTube: BBC: Prince Andrew & the Epstein Scandal: The Newsnight Interview

YouTube: TEDx Talks: The inside story of Prince Andrew’s notorious BBC interview: Sam McAlister

YouTube: High Performance: Emily Maitlis: The Truth about THAT Prince Andrew Interview, BBC Exit & Future of Journalism

You can learn more about the relationship between Prince Andrew and Jeffrey Epstein involved below:

Town & Country: A Complete Timeline of Prince Andrew and Jeffrey Epstein’s Friendship

Wikipedia: Jeffrey Epstein

Time: Here’s What to Know About the Sex Trafficking Case Against Jeffrey Epstein

Wikipedia: Prince Andrew, Duke of York

The journalists in the film are real people and you can learn more here:

Cosmopolitan: Who Is Sam McAlister?

Wikipedia: Emily Maitlis


Loved this movie? Try these books…

The movie is based on the book Scoops, written by Sam McAlister.

Emily Maitlis has shared her perspective in her book, Airhead: The Imperfect Art of Making News

Home Video

Related home video titles:

For another film about journalists exposing a sex offender, you can watch She Said. This fascinating film follows two New York Times reporters as they build a case against movie mogul Harvey Weinstein, an exposé which catalyzes the #MeToo movement.

In Spotlight, reporters at The Boston Globe uncover the horror of the Catholic Church’s coverup of child sex abuse committed by priests.

Veteran female broadcasters at Fox News bring down CEO Roger Ailes over his history of sexual harassment in Bombshell.

Disgraced former president Richard Nixon tries to rehabilitate his image when he consents to an interview with British journalist David Frost. The story of their encounter is told in Frost/Nixon.