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Although writers’ rooms have become more diverse in the last few years, the heads of networks or studios are “still in a bubble” when it comes to conversations around #MeToo and Time’s Up, believes “Crazy Ex-Girlfriend” co-creator and showrunner Aline Brosh McKenna. And ultimately, they wield the most power when it comes to diversity in a series.
“You walk into those rooms, and you are aware that it is still 50-year-old white men who are in charge,” McKenna said during a panel on inclusivity and representation held Sunday. “I want to see these companies, these corporations that we work for say, ‘I heard you, this is not okay.'”
McKenna - Executive - Producers - CW - Series
McKenna was among 10 executive producers from various CW series, including Mara Brock Akil (“Black Lightning”), Nkechi Okoro Carroll (“All American”), Julie Plec (“Legacies” and “Roswell, New Mexico”) and Jennie Snyder Urman (“Charmed” and “Jane The Virgin”) who participated in the panel moderated by Debra Birnbaum, Variety’s executive editor of TV. Eight actresses from various CW shows who are also spearheading the Shethority movement, including Melissa Benoist and Nicole Maines (“Supergirl”), Tala Ashe (“DC’s Legends of Tomorrow”) and Candice Patton (“The Flash”), participated in a second panel with Birnbaum. They discussed their campaign for female empowerment and also touched on how the #MeToo and Time’s Up movements have impacted their industry. The event at Warner Bros. Studios’ Steven J. Ross theater in Burbank also highlighted CW’s partnership with #SeeHer, a movement striving for accurate portrayals of women in the media.
Although Akil stated that showrunners can help hire diverse writers and producers and “change television and entertainment on its head in a year or two tops,” some of the others said there are many obstacles that stand in the way, from budget restrictions to the close-minded executives that McKenna mentioned. “Arrow’s” new showrunner Beth Schwartz...
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