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> ITV Comedy to drop all-male writing teams
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Klaus
post Jun 18 2019, 07:12 PM
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QUOTE(The Guardian)
ITV’s head of comedy has said she will no longer commission any show with an all-male writing team, or one that has just a “token woman”.

Saskia Schuster took action after an audit of her shows revealed “an awful lot” of all-male teams and a “significant lack” of women in scripted commissions. She said for every five scripts sent to her by a man, she would receive just one by a woman.

“Too often the writing room is not sensitively run. It can be aggressive and slightly bullying,” Schuster told Diverse Festival on Monday, according to the BBC, where she featured in a panel discussion titled “why employing more women writers in comedy matters”.

After consulting writers, producers, agents and performers, Schuster, whose commissions include Benidorm and CelebAbility, said she changed her terms of commission and refused any offering written exclusively by men.

“I won’t commission anything with an all-male writing team.”

Writer Brona C Titley, who works on Celebability, told the festival: “If you have the same type of writers in terms of race or sexual orientation or gender, then you’re only getting one kind of joke.”


What are your thoughts about this? Should the rules be this strict? Or is merely trying to get more female writers included not enough without strong action?
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Klaus
post Jun 18 2019, 07:28 PM
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There certainly needs to be more representation and I suppose this follows on from the BBC's banning of all male panels on comedy shows which certainly made sense as, when's panels (plus host) of shows usually total about 7 people, it's more than fair to expect at least ONE to be a woman and I feel it has been very successful.

Unfortunately, I don't have the knowledge to appreciate the full scale of how many people are usually involved in a writing team for a UK comedy show. However, our comedy is not the same as US comedy where network TV has 20+ episodes and a writer's room, with multiple writers. Ours is more focused on 6 episode series which, I assume, has a much more limited writer base. I wonder if her comments are based exclusively on shows where they have a writer's room rather than shows written by a duo etc. Otherwise, it seems a very strict (whilst well-intentioned) rule to implement!
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Suedehead2
post Jun 18 2019, 09:29 PM
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It didn't seem very clear to me at all. A lot of UK comedy is written by only one or two people. Do two people count as a team? Are they going to refuse any comedy written by a single person?
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WhoOdyssey
post Jun 18 2019, 09:38 PM
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QUOTE(Suedehead2 @ Jun 18 2019, 10:29 PM) *
It didn't seem very clear to me at all. A lot of UK comedy is written by only one or two people. Do two people count as a team? Are they going to refuse any comedy written by a single person?

That's a good point, maybe it's referring to shows which do have large writing teams (such as Celebrity Juice, Through the Keyhole etc)?

Though ITV don't have many sitcoms anyway.
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Suedehead2
post Jun 18 2019, 10:02 PM
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And even fewer good ones laugh.gif
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