She ultimately negotiated to do the scene her way, and found the reaction to it from older women extremely gratifying.
"It was vindicating," she says. "It was nice to hear from women across the country who felt that they were at last being seen for what they looked like."
As Harry Korn, Bates continues to be vindicated, playing a character who has lived — and continues to live — a full and satisfying life, and has no shame in exhibiting the wisdom of her years.
"Harry's been there, done that," says Bates. "She's lived her life, seen a lot of things, knows who people are, and at her age, she's just not going to take the guff any more. I enjoy playing people who know what's going on and don't put up with any bull."
But perhaps even more satisfying for Bates is helping prove to the television industry that older characters can not only be interesting, but profitable as well.
"Ours has always been an industry that's been interested in the culture of the young. At a certain age, it becomes more difficult to focus stories on the older population," she says. "So it's wonderful to have a show that can dispute that, come up with good ratings and find an audience."