Impeachment: American Crime Story Let Monica Lewinsky Weigh In On Every Scene

The latest 10-episode installment of Ryan Murphy's "American Crime Story" focuses on Monica Lewinsky and her relationship with President Bill Clinton (and the subsequent impeachment trial that stemmed from it).

The project had fits and starts while getting off the ground, in part because Murphy thought it would be "kind of gross" to develop the FX series if the real-life Lewinsky wasn't on board.

Lewinsky eventually did come on board as a producer, however, and the show moved forward. In a recent Hollywood Reporter interview, she shared how she was intimately involved in almost every scene of "Impeachment," and even urged the writers to put back in some of the more scandalous but well-known elements of the story.

"I'm Incredibly Experienced in Understanding How People See This Story"

No one else in the world can understand the impact the impeachment had on Lewinsky than Lewinsky herself. And as a producer on the project, Lewinsky was ironically the one who sometimes urged more infamous scenes were included.

One such scene, which was chronicled in the Starr Report, had Lewinsky flashing her thong to Clinton. Writer Sarah Burgess initially kept it out of the script, in part because she didn't want to re-traumatize Lewinsky. Lewinsky, however, convinced her to include it.

"Listen, I would've loved to have been really selfish and said, 'That's great that you guys think we don't have to show that, fantastic,' but I'm incredibly experienced in understanding how people see this story," Lewinsky said to The Hollywood Reporter.

Part of the understanding included the knowledge that she would be blamed if it wasn't part of the show. "Ultimately, I felt two things," she added. "One was that I shouldn't get a pass because I'm a producer; and two, that it was unfair to the team and to the project because it would leave everybody vulnerable."

Input on Every Scene (Almost)

Over several Zoom sessions, Lewinsky provided notes on almost every scene in "Impeachment." Not surprisingly, her most detailed notes were scenes where she is portrayed by actor Beanie Feldstein. She also suggested changes to the language Clinton used with her, given she had first-hand knowledge of what those conversations were like.

The only place where Lewinsky understandably offer notes were scenes between Bill and Hillary Clinton, which she said she stepped back from for "myriad, obvious reasons." Overall, however, Lewinsky appears pleased with the final outcome of the show, despite the emotional experience it was for her personally.

"A big goal for me is that this never happens to another young person again," she said. That doesn't mean she isn't worried, however, on how "Impeachment" will be received. Right before the first trailer dropped, she also told THR that she was "nervous about being misunderstood again."

"Impeachment: American Crime Story" premieres on FX on September 7, 2021.