Meredith Shiner is a D.C.-based political reporter and a woman, but the similarities to Zoe Barnes from the Netflix series "House Of Cards" end there, she'd like you to know.
The Yahoo News reporter told HuffPost Live on Tuesday that she's frequently approached by people eager to discuss Kate Mara's "Cards" character, a young reporter who engages in a sexual relationship with politician Frank Underwood in exchange for scoops.
"This gave a really easy hook to people inside politics and outside politics, when instantly they wanted to start a conversation with you, and sometimes it was subtle and they didn't even see it, but like, 'Oh, you're just like the Kate Mara character' -- well no, actually, I'm not," she told HuffPost Live's Alyona Minkovski. "My life -- mostly when I first graduated college, and even now -- is like, working long hours, getting home [to] my couch, eating takeout and watching college basketball."
While Shiner recognizes that real life is less "sexy to put on TV," she declared this representation of a female journalist to be both "destructive" and "difficult."
"It's offensive to me that you could watch a television show and just assume, because somehow a character behaves like this, that real life people behave like this," she said.
And though she respects a screenwriter's right to craft a controversial character such as this one, she regrets being forced to constantly prove that Zoe Barnes and she are not one in the same.
"Maybe it's not deliberate and maybe it's not intentional and maybe it's just trying to start a conversation, but I think that no woman should have to be put on the defensive like that," she said.
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