Women and TVLatest News and Opinion
Posted Tuesday 5/22/18 at 5:47PM EDT
Carol Burnett recalls being told "variety is a man's game" when trying to launch her legendary variety show
Burnett tells Conan O'Brien if it weren't for a CBS contract requiring 30 episodes to be filmed, The Carol Burnett Show might not have happened.
Posted Thursday 5/17/18 at 10:42PM EDT
Tina Fey and Rachel Bloom are changing the way female comics engage with "male gatekeepers"
Fey's recent appearance on David Letterman's My Next Guest Needs No Introduction and Bloom's recent interview conducted by Marc Maron on his WTF podcast were remarkable, says Lili Loofbourow, because both interviews felt "thrillingly blunt." "Real cultural transformation is as laggy as its effects are subtle and hard to name, but the novelty is this: Neither Fey nor Bloom court Letterman’s or Maron’s approval," says Loofbourow. "In fact, Fey repeatedly rejects it. When Letterman raises Fey’s controversial August 'sheet-caking' bit (from SNL) and tries to declare it a success, she doesn’t let him, implicitly rejecting the authority he (just as implicitly) claims to pronounce her comedy good or bad. Both women are affable and funny interviewees, but when it comes time to indulge in the tired mutual-approval party these comedy chats so often become, Fey and Bloom refuse to participate. 'Well, dig into that. Why?' Bloom replies when Maron says he considers Crazy Ex-Girlfriend a 'guilty pleasure.' After describing for him plot points (including a suicide attempt) that Maron knew nothing about, Bloom pleasantly observes that shows written by and starring women tend to be dismissed as fluff—even after Maron, thinking aloud, admits he hadn’t thought the phrase through. It’s a small thing, but if you know the codes of etiquette these women operate under—and carefully dissect in their comedy—it’s pretty wild." ALSO: Tina Fey pitches Nicki Minaj a sketch idea in SNL promo.
Posted Tuesday 5/15/18 at 10:53PM EDT
Emilia Clarke: I've always had pay equality with my Game of Thrones co-stars
Clarke, speaking at the Cannes Film Festival, said she found Claire Foy's The Crown pay disparity to be "shocking, actually shocking." She added: “On Game of Thrones, I have always been paid the same amount as my male co-stars. It was my first job and I was not discriminated against because I was a woman, in my paycheck.” ALSO: Clarke says it's sexist to refer to female characters as "strong women."
Posted Monday 5/14/18 at 11:28PM EDT
Former Late Night writer: David Letterman's explanation for not hiring women was a "master class in distortion"
Letterman co-created his NBC Late Night show with a woman, his then-girlfriend Merrill Markoe, who served as the original head writer and was responsible for many of its innovations. Yet in 33 years as a late-night host, he mostly avoided bringing in female writers. Nell Scovell, who became the second female Late Night writer when she was hired in its ninth season, dissects Letterman's recent explanation to Tina Fey on My Next Guest Needs No Introduction on his lack of women writers, and finds a straw-man argument, scapegoating, obfuscation and nonsense. Scovell, the author of a recent book on her experience as a female TV writer, writes: "After creating a straw-man argument that women just weren’t interested in working on an award-winning TV show, Letterman sets out to further absolve himself of guilt." Scovell also contacted Markoe, asking why "she may have slipped Letterman’s mind." Markoe wrote back, “Because we were having sex, maybe he remembers me as an intern.”
# TOPICS: David Letterman, Netflix, Late Night with David Letterman, Late Show with David Letterman, My Next Guest Needs No Introduction With David Letterman, Merill Markoe, Nell Scovell, Tina Fey, Late Night, Women and TV
Posted Sunday 5/13/18 at 2:39PM EDT
Benedict Cumberbatch: I'll turn down any role unless my female co-star has equal pay
“Equal pay and a place at the table are the central tenets of feminism,” says the Patrick Melrose and Sherlock star. “Look at your quotas. Ask what women are being paid, and say: ‘If she’s not paid the same as the men, I’m not doing it.’”
Posted Friday 5/04/18 at 7:23PM EDT
Ava DuVernay says "sue me" in response to men objecting to her all-female Queen Sugar director lineup
DuVernay says there has been backlash by some male directors who feel they were being discriminated against. “Thank you, friend, thank you for that call," she says. "I invite you to tell whoever is feeling discriminated against to sue me so that I can sue every studio that has left women out . . . ’cause we can do this, if that’s what you want to do.”
Posted Friday 5/04/18 at 1:53PM EDT
Tina Fey calls out David Letterman's lack of female writers on his late-night shows
On the new episode of My Next Guest Needs No Introduction, Letterman acknowledged the criticism that he lacked females in his late-night writers' rooms. Letterman said people would ask "why don’t you have women writers? And the best I could come up with was ‘I don’t know.’ I didn’t know why there weren’t women writers. There was no policy against women writers. I always thought, ‘Well, geez, if I was a woman I’m not sure if I would want to write on my nickel-and-dime, dog-and-pony show anyway because we’re on at 12:30.” Fey responded: “Yeah, well, we do want to write on it, though," which resulted in cheers from the audience. “That is my ignorance, and I feel bad for that,” Letterman replied. Meanwhile, former Late Night with David Letterman writer Nell Scovell tweeted that all five of Letterman's Netflix executive producers are male. ALSO: Fey tells Letterman she regrets her much-criticized SNL Charlottesville sketch.
# TOPICS: My Next Guest Needs No Introduction With David Letterman, Netflix, Late Night with David Letterman, Late Show with David Letterman, Saturday Night Live, David Letterman, Nell Scovell, Tina Fey, Late Night, Women and TV
Posted Tuesday 5/01/18 at 11:02PM EDT
Pauley Perrette: My NCIS character has been an inspiration to "young girls around the world"
“It’s been such an incredible journey that this one little fictional television character has, and it is enormous and overwhelming for young girls around the world,” she said on The Talk. “Over the course of 15 years, it started very early, (girls) have modeled themselves after this TV character. It made math and science not only a viable plan for them, but it made it accessible and it made it fun and it inspired these girls."
Posted Wednesday 4/25/18 at 10:49PM EDT
Finally, there are TV shows saying it's okay for women to be single
Jessica Jones, The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, UnReal, Being Mary Jane and the upcoming Dietland are "pushing the boundaries of what single womanhood looks like, spotlighting complex, wildly different stories about women who just happen to be unattached ― and might not be immediately compelled to become otherwise," says Emma Gray.
Posted Wednesday 4/25/18 at 5:39PM EDT
John Dickerson's book on his mom, CBS News pioneering journalist Nancy Dickerson, to be adapted as a Showtime movie
Stephen Colbert and his wife, Evelyn McGee Colbert, are producing the Showtime original movie Hello Nancy based on the CBS This Morning co-anchor 's 2006 book on his late mom, On Her Trail, My Mother, Nancy Dickerson, TV News’ First Woman Star. Nancy Dickerson, who died in 1997, was considered the "First Lady of TV News," becoming CBS News' first female correspondent and the first female to anchor a TV news show in the 1960s. She was also the first reporter to speak to President John F. Kennedy after his inauguration.
Posted Tuesday 4/24/18 at 5:36PM EDT
Claire Foy says The Crown pay-gap controversy "really opened my eyes about what I am allowed to have an opinion about"
“It definitely opened my eyes to a lot," she tells The Associated Press. "And I certainly won’t be naïve about those things,” Foy said in an interview on Monday in Las Vegas. “It’s really opened my eyes about what I am allowed to have an opinion about, and what I’m allowed to stand up for myself about. And I think that’s really changed my approach to myself and other women in this industry. It’s been only a positive thing — even though, embarrassing.”
Posted Wednesday 4/18/18 at 11:16PM EDT
Study: Women who watched The X-Files were 50% more likely to work in STEM fields
The study from the Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media conducted earlier this year aimed to determine if women and girls considered Gillian Anderson's Scully to be a role model.
Posted Tuesday 4/17/18 at 7:01PM EDT
Billions has evolved to offer TV's best critique of toxic masculinity
Season 3 has turned its attention on gender thanks to the emergence of nonbinary actor Asia Kate Dillon from a bit player to a central part of the series. Her role as Taylor has "crystallized the themes of gender and power that the show had previously been circling less certainly," says Alison Wilmore, adding: "Billions is not exclusively a show about men, but it is shaped by masculinity to the extent that most of its women — formidable, brainy, tough — are seen through the ways they've had to learn how to navigate the expectations and biases of men. They shield themselves when needed, soften their edges when it's advantageous, and contend with being seen as sexual objects."
Posted Wednesday 4/11/18 at 5:05AM EDT
Tina Fey credits TBS for making Mean Girls a classic, discusses how female TV writers were once treated like "expensive cappuccino machines"
Fey says she was inspired to turn Mean Girls into a musical after seeing "people from TV" -- South Park's Trey Parker and Matt Stone -- conquer Broadway with The Book of Mormon. Without TBS, she adds, her new Mean Girls musical wouldn't be possible. “I think so much of that credit goes to TBS,” she tells Variety. “Isn’t it always on TBS? Thank you, TBS!” The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt and 30 Rock honcho also spoke about the Time's Up movement, saying it was always her goal to put females in writers' rooms. “I think in comedy rooms, especially, women are treated like expensive cappuccino machines,” she says. “Where it’s like, ‘We have one. Why would we have two?!’ That’s too much pressure on that one person — to carry that, to be the African-American writer, the female writer. It’s always about changing the chemistry of the room. The more diverse the room is, it automatically becomes better.”
Posted Friday 3/23/18 at 9:54PM EDT
Nickelodeon's Kids' Choice Awards last had a female host 14 years ago
The last female to helm the annual awards show was Cameron Diaz, who co-hosted with Ben Stiller in 2004. "If you look at the history of the KCA, the early years had plenty of female hosts," says Kellie Freeze. "Candace Cameron Bure, Mandy Moore, Whitney Houston, Debbie Gibson—all hosted or co-hosted. Rosie O’Donnell rocked the hosting gig eight times! So, what happened? Does Nickelodeon not know that women are some of the biggest names in TV, film, and music?"