ITV adopt BBC-like comedy diversity stance Page 3

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Bonzo

  • Thursday 20th June 2019, 3:54pm
  • London, England
  • 804 posts
Quote: garyd @ 20th June 2019, 3:04 PM

...
The talented male comedy writers who are trying very hard to make it in the business deserve just as much opportunity as the equally talented women.
...

Hello. Regarding the bit above. Yes, of course. But also talented women deserve as much opportunity as talented men. I see this as a positive thing, much like the initiative to have women on panel shows, I think the panel shows are better now and hopefully, with writers rooms containing many different voices, views and perspectives, comedy output will get even better.

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Rood Eye

  • Thursday 20th June 2019, 5:08pm [Edited]
  • England
  • 2,548 posts

Saskia Schuster may implement her policy as stated or she may not.

If she does, I shall follow Eric Idle's advice and look on the bright side:

AbFab was written by an all-female team and was performed by a predominantly female cast and so, if the future of ITV comedy under Saskia Schuster is shows as good as AbFab, I shall be very happy indeed.

Of course, as I'm sitting in my armchair every night watching ITV and laughing my head off, I will (during the adverts) be sparing the occasional thought for all the out-of-work male writers whose lives have been ruined for my viewing pleasure.

After shedding a tear or two on their behalf, I shall immediately get right back to laughing my head off.

I am nothing if not philosophical.

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Charlie Boy

  • Thursday 20th June 2019, 6:17pm
  • Edinburgh, Scotland
  • 547 posts
Quote: kate to the party @ 20th June 2019, 1:25 PM

Four is still on the small side for a writers' room (although I guess it depends on the format of show?). Did you have four specific men in mind or is this a hypothetical? You could just add four women to that, then you've got a solid team of eight. Let them sit/eat lunch wherever they want and you're really cooking with gas.

Why would you add four women, if the writing team was happy with four men?
And, it was hypothetical!

Quote: Rood Eye @ 20th June 2019, 5:08 PM

Saskia Schuster may implement her policy as stated or she may not.

AbFab was written by an all-female team and was performed by a predominantly female cast and so, if the future of ITV comedy under Saskia Schuster is shows as good as AbFab, I shall be very happy indeed.

AbFab was a BBC production, but, if it was an ITV production, they'd probably have to add a male to make it fair.

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Rood Eye

  • Thursday 20th June 2019, 8:55pm [Edited]
  • England
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Quote: Charlie Boy @ 20th June 2019, 6:17 PM

AbFab was a BBC production, but, if it was an ITV production, they'd probably have to add a male to make it fair.

Yes, I gave AbFab as an example of what a bloody good job women writers and women actors can do with TV comedy when you get the right women doing the job.

If the BBC's diversity initiative and ITV's diversity initiative and everybody else's diversity initiative results in seriously talented people being put into jobs that they'd stand little chance of getting in traditionally (I've even heard someone say "hideously") white organisations and traditionally (I've never heard anyone say "hideously") male organisations, I say hooray and hurrah.

However, if those initiatives result in purely token people of limited talent being put into those jobs, I say boooooooooooooo!

As Lazzard has already suggested, however, Saskia Schuster's policy is probably just so much window-dressing. Unless she is genuinely demented, she's not going to let the quality of ITV comedy suffer by really implementing a Draconian and entirely irrational policy of "no all-male writing teams".

If she wants to be seen to be sticking to that policy without actually sticking to it, she can always dress the credits up to make writing teams appear suitably diverse but for a TV company that depends for its very existence on viewer approval, at the end of the day she's not going to put the strict and literal implementation of such a rule before her fundamental purpose as head of comedy - the putting of bums on seats in front of British tellies.

If she decides to take the high ground with regard to diversity versus bums on seats, viewing figures will fall and she'll have to backpedal or she won't be head of ITV comedy for much longer.

All in all, I don't think male writers have very much to worry about.

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Aaron

  • Saturday 22nd June 2019, 11:39am
  • Royal Berkshire, England
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Hell of a lot of presumptuous nonsense being spouted by the usual self-important know-alls in this thread.

For your enlightenment, I've just spoken to Saskia and clarified.

Each production is dealt with on an individual basis, and both new and established wholly-male writing teams are still very much welcomed at ITV. "I have one male writing duo project where we are paying female writers to come in for additional writing days but the duo very much remain the lead writers. The terms of commission do state best endeavours to bring women into the writing room."

She adds: "I have another male writing duo project where the writers will write at least half of the episodes with a female writer or writers (it's still being worked out) to write the rest."

"50:50 is about respect and inclusivity. That might sound trite but I am employing writers for their voices, so it's important to ensure they are being creatively supported by this process."

BCG Pro will publish an article later looking at the truth of the matter in more detail.

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Rood Eye

  • Saturday 22nd June 2019, 2:18pm [Edited]
  • England
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Quote: Aaron @ 22nd June 2019, 11:39 AM

I've just spoken to Saskia and clarified.

. . . both new and established wholly-male writing teams are still very much welcomed at ITV.

Clarified? Unfortunately, you haven't clarified anything, Aaron.

Clarification is a process by which something unclear is made clear.

There was never anything even remotely unclear about Saskia's reported intentions with regard to all-male writing teams. According to the BBC and hundreds of other news outlets in several different countries, she said in the plainest and simplest of terms that she won't commission anything from all-male writing teams.

Far from clarifying anything, what you've done is come up with a statement from Saskia in which she says the direct opposite of what she is reported to have said at Channel 4's Diverse Festival in Bradford on Monday.

She was quoted internationally on more than 350 websites as saying at that festival "I won't commission anything with an all-male writing team."

Today, however, you're telling us she's saying that all-male writing teams are still very much welcomed at ITV.

Either the BBC and all those hundreds of other news sources misquoted her or you are misquoting her or she's done a complete about-turn.

Which is it?

I'll tell you something: if you're not misquoting her, there's a big news story in this and, if you break it, BCG will be mentioned in hundreds of news outlets all over the world and members will surely flood in.

You could have a new server by next week! Laughing out loud

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Aaron

  • Saturday 22nd June 2019, 3:37pm
  • Royal Berkshire, England
  • 68,339 posts

As wilfully disingenuous a response as I expected, Rood Eye. Thanks for living down to all of our expectations of you.

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Rood Eye

  • Saturday 22nd June 2019, 3:42pm
  • England
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Quote: Aaron @ 22nd June 2019, 3:37 PM

As wilfully disingenuous a response as I expected, Rood Eye. Thanks for living down to all of our expectations of you.

Thanks for that, but if I may bring your attention back to the question:

Quote: Rood Eye @ 22nd June 2019, 2:18 PM


Either the BBC and all those hundreds of other news sources misquoted her or you are misquoting her or she's done a complete about-turn.

Which is it?

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Lazzard

  • Saturday 22nd June 2019, 4:17pm
  • Ludlow, England
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Quote: Aaron @ 22nd June 2019, 11:39 AM


For your enlightenment, I've just spoken to Saskia and clarified.

Each production is dealt with on an individual basis, and both new and established wholly-male writing teams are still very much welcomed at ITV. "I have one male writing duo project where we are paying female writers to come in for additional writing days but the duo very much remain the lead writers. The terms of commission do state best endeavours to bring women into the writing room."

She adds: "I have another male writing duo project where the writers will write at least half of the episodes with a female writer or writers (it's still being worked out) to write the rest."

"50:50 is about respect and inclusivity. That might sound trite but I am employing writers for their voices, so it's important to ensure they are being creatively supported by this process."

A thoroughly reasonable position.
A classic example of the media distorting the facts to get a headline.
She should be more careful.
Anyway, move on.
Nothing to see here.

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Rood Eye

  • Saturday 22nd June 2019, 4:28pm [Edited]
  • England
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Quote: Lazzard @ 22nd June 2019, 4:17 PM


A classic example of the media distorting the facts to get a headline.

You may be absolutely right, Laz.

Hopefully, Aaron will be along soon to confirm that Saskia never uttered the words attributed to her - words that are at this very moment still quoted on ITV's own website in an article entitled "ITV bans all-male comedy writing teams".

There are about 2 billion websites currently in existence but wouldn't you think that the one website in all the world absolutely guaranteed to have confirmed the accuracy of that quote before printing it would be ITV.com?

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jsg

  • Saturday 22nd June 2019, 5:22pm
  • United Kingdom
  • 224 posts
Quote: Aaron @ 22nd June 2019, 11:39 AM

Hell of a lot of presumptuous nonsense being spouted by the usual self-important know-alls in this thread.

For your enlightenment, I've just spoken to Saskia and clarified.

Each production is dealt with on an individual basis, and both new and established wholly-male writing teams are still very much welcomed at ITV. "I have one male writing duo project where we are paying female writers to come in for additional writing days but the duo very much remain the lead writers. The terms of commission do state best endeavours to bring women into the writing room."

She adds: "I have another male writing duo project where the writers will write at least half of the episodes with a female writer or writers (it's still being worked out) to write the rest."

"50:50 is about respect and inclusivity. That might sound trite but I am employing writers for their voices, so it's important to ensure they are being creatively supported by this process."

BCG Pro will publish an article later looking at the truth of the matter in more detail.

Thanks, I was sort of wondering about this. The ambiguity of the original story made me a bit sceptical.

Hypothetically, say, if the rule wasn't just about additional material but was about main writers it would sort of make sense for larger writing rooms such as on panel shows but it would be more of a grey area on narrative projects.

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garyd

  • Saturday 22nd June 2019, 9:25pm [Edited]
  • England
  • 771 posts
Quote: Bonzo @ 20th June 2019, 3:54 PM

Hello. Regarding the bit above. Yes, of course. But also talented women deserve as much opportunity as talented men. I see this as a positive thing, much like the initiative to have women on panel shows, I think the panel shows are better now and hopefully, with writers rooms containing many different voices, views and perspectives, comedy output will get even better.

Hi Jane.

Obviously this situation relates to someone like you who appears to be on the cusp of a very successful comedy writing career.
I wholeheartedly agree if it relates solely to writing teams for panel shows, say.

However, Saskia specifically mentioned the ratio of scripts received when reviewing sitcom submissions as well as writing teams.

Quote: Aaron @ 22nd June 2019, 11:39 AM

Hell of a lot of presumptuous nonsense being spouted by the usual self-important know-alls in this thread.

For your enlightenment, I've just spoken to Saskia and clarified.

Each production is dealt with on an individual basis, and both new and established wholly-male writing teams are still very much welcomed at ITV. "I have one male writing duo project where we are paying female writers to come in for additional writing days but the duo very much remain the lead writers. The terms of commission do state best endeavours to bring women into the writing room."

She adds: "I have another male writing duo project where the writers will write at least half of the episodes with a female writer or writers (it's still being worked out) to write the rest."

"50:50 is about respect and inclusivity. That might sound trite but I am employing writers for their voices, so it's important to ensure they are being creatively supported by this process."

BCG Pro will publish an article later looking at the truth of the matter in more detail.

Aaron respectfully, your comment "Hell of a lot of presumptuous nonsense being spouted by the usual self-important know-alls in this thread." Is frankly nonsense.
It is quite clear what Saskia said.

However, if she has had a rethink and wishes to dampen down the initial premise then that is fine, but it would be nice to have that confirmed clearly. The quote you have included is far from clarification.

I look forward to BCG's article revealing the "truth" of the matter.

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Rood Eye

  • Saturday 22nd June 2019, 11:03pm [Edited]
  • England
  • 2,548 posts
Quote: garyd @ 22nd June 2019, 9:25 PM

.

I look forward to BCG's article revealing the "truth" of the matter.

I too am looking forward to it.

One thing's for sure: I'll be shocked and horrified if Lazzard was right when he described Saskia's address to the diversity group on the subject of all-male writing teams as a load of . . .

Quote: Lazzard @ 19th June 2019, 11:57 AM

virtue-signalling bollocks

Surely not, Saskia!

Surely not! :O

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Rood Eye

  • Sunday 23rd June 2019, 7:45am [Edited]
  • England
  • 2,548 posts
Quote: Aaron @ 22nd June 2019, 11:39 AM

self-important know-alls

Priceless!

I laughed out loud when I first read that.

I laughed again later as it crossed my mind as I was falling asleep in bed.

I remembered it when I woke up this morning, and I laughed again.

I'm still laughing. Laughing out loud