That Sinking Feeling of Recognition … A TV Writer’s Thoughts on Weinstein and the Low Bar

Posted by:Kate Melville on Oct - 13 - 2017 - Filed under: Snitch Pictures -

Like many women in film, I’ve been following the accusations against Harvey Weinstein with a sinking feeling of recognition. As my comedy hero-goddess Sam Bee points out, Harvey’s just the tip of the douche-berg …

The media industry’s professional standards are not creative, not casual, not old-fashioned — they just suck.

In my line of work, TV writers’ rooms have a notoriously low bar for workplace behaviour. This oddly hilarious article by Daley Haggar in today’s Lenny describes the dynamic perfectly:

“Being sexually harassed by a sitcom writer is like being sexually harassed by your gynecologist. It can be hard to tell if the guy’s being a pervert or just doing his job.”

On the drama side, writers navigate the murky waters of misogyny and rape culture, as Ellen Vanstone brilliantly described in the Globe and Mail.

This is nothing new: the lawsuit testimony by the writers assistant on Friends in 2006 was hideous, AND SHE LOST, in the name of “creativity”, to which I call bullshit.

Some say these conversations are happening within a brainstorm of ideas, and we’re all trying not to censor ourselves. But creativity and professionalism are not mutually exclusive. Studios, production companies and networks need to step up with policy, not apologies. We can do so much better, and should.

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