Misogyny is responsible for countless issues in today's society — one of them being the downfall of NBC's Smash.
Theresa Rebeck, creator of the short lived Broadway series, dished on the rampant sexism that churns through many television writers' rooms where your favorite shows are made.
In a personal essay featured in a new book Double Blind: Women on Ambition (as excerpted by EW), the showrunner detailed how she created, wrote, and ran the room in Season One — at the request of exec producer Steven Spielberg, no less — before suddenly getting fired from the show SHE created.
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Rebeck recounts getting "fired without cause" at the end of Season One, and shortly learned that many "dastardly stories" about her character had been invented by those who wanted her gone.
After the male writers who "conspired" to have her fired realized the show wouldn't last without the mastermind at the helm, they flew the coop and pursued other opportunities — leaving the network to hire a new team of creatives.
Rebeck recalls her showrunner replacement, Gossip Girl alum Josh Safran, being particularly unqualified — and ultimately responsible for the show's cancellation after Season Two. She wrote:
"The person they gave it to had virtually no credentials and no experience in the theater. His television credits were nowhere near as comprehensive as mine. The show died under his watch. Two years later, another network gave him another show to run. Meanwhile, I was still being told that I was unemployable because everyone knew that I was a lunatic."
Ugh, so infuriating!!
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Though that was far from the only experience the veteran writer had with Hollywood misogyny, continuing:
"I tell stories about the shenanigans that go on in writers' rooms, and my friends outside the business roar with laughter or cringe in disbelief. The misogyny is beyond anything that people believe when I tell these stories."
Rebeck also recalled the male-dominated writers' rooms being ripe with "fist-up-the-ass jokes," and explained how she would be tasked with writing the "girl scenes," adding:
"The whole thing was dreadful. And I do want to do it again. Is this like childbirth? You think, ‘Oh god, it's so great having a kid, I don't remember the pain.' No, it's actually not like that. The memory of the pain is pretty vivid… I wish this were not the story I have to tell today. I have other stories. I am anxious to get on with them."
Please, do tell more!!
It's so awful to think even a progressive town like Hollywood is run by a bunch of sleazy sexists. Let's fix that, shall we?
[Image via NBC.]
Tags: double blind: women on ambition, gossip girl, icky icky poo, josh safran, nbc, smash, steven spielberg, theresa rebeck, tv news