'UnREAL' Showrunner Marti Noxon: You Can't Worry About "What the Internet Is Going to Think"

"['UnREAL'] is about women who are not necessarily likable, doing a job that is despicable, and we are not going to be afraid of that," Noxon told THR.

“There’re been sort of a sea change in my work in general, in that the more personal, the universal it’s become," UnREAL co-creator Marti Noxon told THR during the Drama Showrunner Emmy Roundtable. "Unless I feel a certain level of anxiety, about like, this is a little close to the bone, I kind of feel like I’m not doing it right anymore.”

“In UnREAL, for me, just being so openly feminist, just being so overtly like, ‘This show is about women who are not necessarily likable, doing a job that is despicable, and we are not going to be afraid of that.’" She admitted that while she and co-creator Sarah Gertrude Shapiro "were terrified," they were "not going to pull our punches." They were determined to not "treat these characters any differently than we would their male counterparts." Constance Zimmer and Shiri Appleby play reality TV producers for a highly rated fictional series called Enchanted on the Lifetime series UnREAL.

Noxon said she has reached a new place where she has "grown tired of something that’s clever and signifies nothing." She was adamant that you "can’t write worrying what the internet’s going to think." She noted that "none of the showrunners that [she] respects] the most are well-liked by everybody," arguing this is because "they’re not afraid to put stuff out there and make people angry." She said when she "was finally at the place where" she could "pretend" to not care about offending people she found her creative "output changed dramatically."

"You cannot live hoping that you’re going to offend people," said Noxon. "You should live hoping you are going to offend people, because then you’re doing something.”

More roundtables featuring comedy and drama actors and actresses, comedy showrunners, and reality hosts and producers will roll out throughout June in print and online. Tune in to new episodes of Close Up With The Hollywood Reporter starting June 26 on SundanceTV, with the premiere of the Drama Showrunners Roundtable on Sunday, July 24. And look for clips at THR.com/roundtables with full episodes on THR.com after broadcast.

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