'Homeland' Creator Alex Gansa on Criticism: "The Immediacy of People's Opinions Is Crazy"

"I'm either going to fail or succeed on my own terms."

When asked how he handles criticism of his work at this point in his career, Homeland creator Alex Gansa said, "I wait until the end of the season, because I find that the immediacy of people's opinions these days is crazy. They are down on you for an episode. And they don't realize that most of us are telling these serialized dramas."

During The Hollywood Reporter's Drama Showrunner Roundtable, he highlighted one scene in particular, during which protagonist Carrie Mathison (Claire Danes) considers whether or not she is capable of harming her baby. "The hysterical thing, of course, is that in the previous episode, Carrie Mathison killed 40 people at a wedding. Nobody even blinked an eye. But she thought in her mind she might do some damage to her child and people were, 'We are never watching this show again!'"

Gansa, who has over 20 years of experience in television, was ready to create his own project when it came to Homeland. "You get to a certain point in your career and you're saying, 'I'm either going to fail or succeed on my own terms.' A lot of us have been through this so many times, and you have compromised and made mistakes. And your failure hasn't been on your terms, it's been on somebody else's terms." So far, there's been little failure for Gansa and the Homeland team to suffer from, having won multiple Golden Globes and Emmys over the course of its five seasons.

The show creator joined Sarah Treem (The Affair), Michelle King (The Good Wife), Beau Willimon (House of Cards), Lee Daniels (Empire), and Damon Lindelof (The Leftovers) for the Roundtable, where the biggest drama TV influencers discussed writing, creative collaborations, and taking risks.

The full Drama Showrunner Roundtable aired on Close Up With The Hollywood Reporter on Aug. 30, at 11 a.m. ET/PT on Sundance TV and HollywoodReporter.com. Tune in this Sunday for the next episode.

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