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Variety’s TV Writers’ Panel Apparently Forgot Women Exist, so Women Formed Their Own

women writers panel diversity variety

Variety sent out invitations for an upcoming writing panel the trade is hosting, and some of the recipients immediately noticed a glaring problem with the lineup. Of the twelve showrunners speaking–six on a comedy panel, six drama–only one, Mom co-creator Gemma Baker, is a woman.

Making this even more infuriating, today, Wednesday, June 6th, Variety is hosting a “Path to Parity” women’s summit to talk about gender equality in Hollywood. That conference is slated to be much more balanced in the genders of its speakers (including Mila Kunis, Seth Meyers, Gloria Allred, Jill Soloway, Kenya Barris, and more), which is great and all, but an event shouldn’t have to be about gender parity to see it exemplified. Especially not when there are so many women working at the top of their field.

Because it’s not like the organizers of Variety’s writers’ panels didn’t have plenty of women and nonbinary writers to choose from. Busy Phillips took to Twitter to show just how many come up with even a cursory Google search.

Variety’s omission of women is frustrating, but female writers mobilized their anger and the result was inspiring.

Liz Hannah, the writer of The Post, put a call out for female showrunners to form their own panel and the interest and support she received was immense.

Variety has also apologized and says it’s “working on rectifying [their] mistake.”

Which is a great reminder that, while it would be nice if women weren’t so often overlooked in these situations, our outrage can effect change.

(via Refinery29, image: Matthew Henry from Burst)

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Vivian Kane (she/her) has a lot of opinions about a lot of things. Born in San Francisco and radicalized in Los Angeles, she now lives in Kansas City, Missouri with her husband Brock Wilbur and too many cats.