The end of today’s TCA, The CW brought out some girl power with eight of their executive producers running nine shows for the network. Panelist included Wendy Mericle (Arrow), Diane Ruggiero-Wright (iZombie), Caroline Dries (The Vampire Diaries), Julie Plec (The Vampire Diaries, The Originals, & Containment), Jennie Snyder Urman (Jane The Virgin), Aline Brosh McKenna (Crazy Ex-Girlfriend), Laurie McCarthy (Reign), and Gabrielle Stanton (The Flash). The panelist talked mainly about their experiences as female writers and showrunners supporting each other’s craft, and not wanting to be separated from their male counterparts.
“There’s a lot a women who are looking for good roles and so the fact that we get to be part of the group … it’s a great opportunity for women to act and to be storytellers” tells Plec on the positive impact of a growing slate of female show heads. “There is a real problem with women being underrepresented” Mckenna points out adding “what’s good about this is if women see it and think ‘I’m going to do that’”
The panelist, who represented eight of the 12 female showrunners, had much praise for the network especially the support they receive from the higher ups. “You definitely feel, when you’re on the CW, like female voices and female stories are welcomed enthusiastically. I never feel that it is being second guesses in anyway or that our experience is being hemmed in in anyway by men. I just fell like it’s a very obviously female friendly group,” hailed McKenna. Stanton added “I was really struck by the variety of shows. They’re not traditional chick shows, we’re up here doing all sorts of different kinds of shows and I think that’s definitely kudos to the CW.”
Although the panel was female-centric, the ladies made it clear that they didn’t want to be set apart from their male counterparts. “Once you start breaking it down to what men are good at and what women are good at and what they bring to the table, you take away from the fact that we’re writers,” Wright suggests, “we’re creative people and we’re thinking of characters… our job is to tell a story. “While we feel very honored to be sort of celebrated like this, a showrunner, is a showrunner, is a showrunner adds Plec. “We all suffer in the same ways, we all go through our on version of hell in running a show.”
Despite the gender inequality in the industry “You want to hire the best writer for the job and so if the best writer for a particular job is a man I’m going to want to hire a man and if the best person is a woman I’m going to want to hire the woman and if it’s between the two, honestly, I’m going to pick the woman… I’m going to support the sisterhood.” offers Wright.
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