The Oscar-winning screenwriter of Thelma And Louise and director of The Divine Secrets Of The Ya-Ya Sisterhood has one of the rare critical hits of this fall TV season, Nashville. Callie Khouri talked to Salon recently about how she went from not wanting to write for TV to realizing that telling stories about women is more respected on the small screen:
I’m just liking TV so much more than features right now, just in terms of what you can get made… I don’t think any studio — it was a long shot at the time – but I don’t think any studio in a million years would make Thelma And Louise right now. But there’s so many other kinds of movies they won’t make right now.
People who make TV also seem much more comfortable making shows for women than people making movies do. Because you’re allowed. You’re allowed to make things for women on television and … you don’t have to go through the humiliation of having made something directed at women. There it’s just accepted, whereas if it’s a feature, it’s like “So, talk to me about chick flicks.”
… I just think it’s insulting that if there is something with women in it, it’s relegated to this kind of trash heap. It doesn’t matter what it is, how good it is, if there is emotion in it, it’s immediately going to be talked down to. And I’m obviously irritated by that. Probably all women are. Certainly a lot of women filmmakers are.
Whereas network TV, and ABC in particular, is often aimed at women. That’s who their audience is. I mean, again, it’s like, works for me. I want to make something that’s respectful, and respected. And I think you can make something for women that is respected on television. Anyway, I don’t want to just complain about features, but it does seem unduly hard given the number of women that exist in the world.