According to “The Devil Wears Prada” screenwriter Aline Brosh McKenna, it was difficult to find fashion industry experts who were willing to assist with making sure the script was realistic and informed due to Wintour’s immense power in the fashion industry. McKenna opened up about this struggle in a 2021 interview with Entertainment Weekly:
“I had enormous trouble finding anyone in the fashion world who’d talk to me, because people were afraid of Anna and Vogue, not wanting to be blackballed. There was one person who spoke to me, whose name I will never divulge, who read it and said, “The people in this movie are too nice. No one in that world is too nice. They don’t have to be, and they don’t have time to be.” After that, I did a pass to make everyone a bit busier and meaner.
The fear that offering any sort of assistance to help with creating “The Devil Wears Prada” would result in retribution from Wintour was not entirely unreasonable, as even those close to Wintour have gone on record about the way her emotionally distant and enigmatic persona is nothing short of anxiety inducing. In fact, one such friend, conservative journalist Barbara Amiel, wrote about the effect Wintour has on people in a 2006 essay entitled “The ‘Devil’ I Know” penned shortly after attending an early screening of the now iconic film. “Anna happens to be a friend of mine, a fact which is of absolutely no help in coping with the cold panic that grips me whenever we meet. […] Just why one gets into a cold sweat — and I am not alone in this reaction among her friends and acquaintances — is something of a mystery.”