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Writers Recount Racist and Sexist WTF Moments in Screenwriting Industry

Color me surprised.

Selling fanfiction and fanart

As a writer, I dabble in all sorts of writing. Fanfiction? Count me in. Poetry? You know I got you! Short stories? Yes, please. Screenwriting? Well … sort of. I’ve always wanted to dive into this exhausting, yet rewarding-looking world of creative minds who bring their stories to life for the big or small screen.

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But then there are those jarring moments, like the tweet below by Marti King Young, writer and director of White Talon City, that remind you how hard it is to be a woman or a person of color (Latinx, for me) in the screenwriting industry.

The responses … were jarring, to say the least. Some were asked to make their Latinx characters more Latinx, as if we need to have an empanada in one hand a tamale in the other to distinguish ourselves. Others were told by their teachers that “Black kids don’t write like this,” as if there’s a standard that Black writers have to live or die by. And others were just unbothered to ask things of a community they know nothing about.

But, wait! There’s more! Then there were the sexist comments by execs, studios, and other writers who were reading screenplays by women. Some were surprised women could write action, like we’re only dainty flowers who love romances. (Romances are fantastic and a girl can love some round house kicks too.) Others didn’t even want to read screenplays by women. And God forbid if women swear, as if we’re delicate enough to faint at a curse word passing our lips! *shocked gasp*

The point of this post isn’t to dissuade myself, or you, from writing a screenplay or script. The point of this is to highlight the amazing talent that is out there pushing boundaries IN SPITE of the pushback they get from those who read their screenplays. They aren’t backing down and neither should I, neither should you. So, go and write that hella diverse story of your dreams! Go and write the story that women deserve to see on their screens! Do it and make Hollywood a better place, one screenplay at a time.

(image: pexels)

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Lyra Hale
Lyra (She/Her) is a queer Latinx writer who stans badass women in movies, TV shows, and books. She loves crafting, tostones, and speculating all over queer media. And when not writing she's scrolling through TikTok or rebuilding her book collection.

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