The CW’s Crazy Ex-Girlfriend is undeniably a slap in the face to the “50-year old white men” demographic of producers and executives who have contributed to the lack of diversity in Hollywood and television in American culture. Co-creator of Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, Aline Brosh McKenna recognizes that her show—amongst dozens of other diverse TV shows—has shifted conversations, yet she also recognizes the heads of networks and studios are “still in a bubble” when it comes to diversity.
Speaking to #MeToo, Time’s Up, and the discussions that have been prompted by these movements, McKenna acknowledges these conversations’ successes, while also emphasizing their limitations.
For instance, in a panel on inclusivity and representation last Sunday, Variety reported on McKenna’s perception of TV producers, saying, “You walk into those rooms, and you are aware that it is still 50-year-old white men who are in charge…I want to see these companies, these corporations that we work for say, ‘I heard you, this is not okay.’”
Joined by 10 other executive producers from a variety of CW shows, McKenna addressed the importance of hiring diverse writers. Although Mara Brock Akil from Black Lightning agrees with these sentiments, she insists that it is not enough to merely hire a staff of diverse writers, but rather change also needs to affect budget restrictions and close-minded executives. McKenna also pointed to the need to “hire from the bottom,” because then women can rise through the ranks of lower-level positions and eventually make it to the top.
Although McKenna and the other executive producers agree that #MeToo and Time’s Up has been influential in stirring change, the producers from CW also recognize that there is still more to be done. McKenna claims that the push for gender equality has created a ripple effect, while also insisting that these conversations have created a shift that has allowed women to develop greater confidence—but above all McKenna is still pushing for more female executives and shift away from the leadership of white men in TV.
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