Comedy Showrunners Discuss WGA Staffing Boost, Filming in L.A. at Variety’s ‘A Night in the Writers’ Room’

Variety | 6/14/2019 | Will Thorne
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The WGA writers boost and representing Los Angeles on screen were two of the topics most passionately discussed at the comedy panel for Variety‘s “A Night in the Writers’ Room” event.

While the drama panel earlier in the evening delved into the struggle that newer writers face as a result of the WGA-ATA impasse, the gathering of esteemed comedy writers and showrunners shared positive side stories which resulted from the #WGAstaffingboost — the social-media initiative meant to make less experienced writers more visible to showrunners hiring during the impasse.

Vida - Creator - Tanya - Saracho - Duty

“Vida” creator Tanya Saracho said that she felt it was her duty to participate in the staffing boost and reach to aspiring, often unrepresented writers on social media. She received a mountain of scripts in response, but delightedly revealed that she found someone she wants to hire for Season 3.

“I met with five and I’m staffing one from Twitter,” Saracho said. “Usually I don’t get sent a lot of comedy writers, but she’s a comedy writer and she’s queer and she’s awesome.”

Conversation - Screen - Saracho - Industry - Steps

Later, the conversation moved to representation on screen, with Saracho saying that the industry is making “small steps,” but that it’s still too early to “pat ourselves on the back.”

Saracho’s show and that of Prentice Penny, one of the lead writers on “Insecure,” are helping by portraying their characters and the Los Angeles neighborhoods in which they live in an authentic manner.

LA… - Anything - South - People - Color

“I grew up in L.A….and I was like you never see anything South of the 10, especially with people of color, it feels like this generic neighborhood that’s just a set from ‘Perfect Strangers,”” Penny said. “When you’re filming in your neighborhoods, it’s not just seeing yourself on screen, it’s also seeing a kid that goes to Audubon Junior High that’s like, ‘Yo they were filming a television show on HBO...
(Excerpt) Read more at: Variety
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