This week, Netflix is coming out with a documentary about longtime women’s rights attorney and Penn alum Gloria Allred.
The documentary, Seeing Allred, chronicles Allred’s forty-year career fighting legal battles, especially civil rights suits involving sexual harassment, women’s rights, and employment discrimination.
It took two years for the film’s directors, Sophie Sartain and Roberta Grossman, to convince Allred to give them access to her life to make the documentary, which traces her path from high school teacher to one of the country’s most recognizable lawyers.
The film seeks to combat stereotypical media portrayals of Allred, who has become a controversial figure over the course of her career. Allred’s televised press conferences, appearances on talk shows, and high-profile celebrity cases have also been criticized as tools Allred uses to advance her own career and name.
Allred has been an object of ridicule in popular culture. SNL parodied her in one skit, characterizing Allred as an obsessive self-promoter. Oftentimes, the ridicule is sexist in nature: The Simpsons portrayed her as a shrill feminist making absurd “assault” allegations in a scene included in the Seeing Allred trailer.
Allred, a Philadelphia native, graduated from Penn in 1963 with a degree in English. She also has a Master’s from NYU and a JD from Loyola Law School.