8:15am PT by Lesley Goldberg
Advice to Male TV Writers Who Didn't Get Staffed: Don't Blame #MeToo
Welcome to Thread Alert, a new semi-regular feature in which The Hollywood Reporter curates interesting social media threads covering timely topics of interest on social media.
With staffing season in the books, hundreds of writers have spent the past week getting to work on nearly 40 new broadcast comedies and dramas. As broadcast networks continue to make a push for more inclusive writing staffs and a better mix of men and women, veteran writer-producer David Slack has a strong message to the guys who didn't make the cut: don't blame women and the #MeToo movement.
In the latest edition of Thread Alert, Slack (CBS' MacGyver, Person of Interest, Lie to Me) explains that by "scapegoating women and #MeToo, your agents are trying to cover up for their own failure to get you a job."
Here's Slack's thread:
To male TV writers who didn’t get staffed this season:— David Slack (@slack2thefuture) May 31, 2018
1. I’m sorry. I’ve been there. It sucks.
2. If your agent told you that you didn’t get staffed because of #MeToo, that’s bullshit. And here’s why:
A woman didn’t take your job. One of the many, many other men who got staffed this season took your job.— David Slack (@slack2thefuture) May 31, 2018
While there are now a few shows with all-female or majority-female writing staffs, the overwhelming majority of employed TV writers are still male. (Despite the fact that women make up 51% of the population.)— David Slack (@slack2thefuture) May 31, 2018
By telling you a woman took your job, your agents aren’t just furthering sexism & misogyny in our industry; they are trying to blind you to the real reasons you didn’t get staffed. And that does you a huge disservice.— David Slack (@slack2thefuture) May 31, 2018
By scapegoating women & #MeToo, your agents are trying to cover up for their own failure to get you a job.— David Slack (@slack2thefuture) May 31, 2018
And they’re turning your focus away from what you can do to make yourself a better, more employable writer.
If you didn’t get staffed, it’s because you got outcompeted, plain & simple. Other writers, both men & women, had better samples, better recommendations, & better meetings. It’s okay. I’ve had years where I got outcompeted, too.— David Slack (@slack2thefuture) May 31, 2018
So instead of blaming this on women or #MeToo, take this as a challenge: to demand more of your agents & yourself, to work on how you present yourself in meetings, to challenge yourself to write better samples.— David Slack (@slack2thefuture) May 31, 2018
If you focus on raising your game instead of buying into the bullshit that the system is rigged (it’s not), that next job will come your way. Trust me.— David Slack (@slack2thefuture) May 31, 2018
Hope this helps, & I wish you the best of luck.
p.s. Since this thread is getting way more attention than I expected, credit where credit is due: I only know this stuff because brilliant, talented women in my life like @LadyKateBond, @absegel & so many others have explained it to me.— David Slack (@slack2thefuture) June 1, 2018
The fact I’m getting credit for saying things plenty of women have been saying for years is only further evidence of the problem. Listen to women when they say things the first time.— David Slack (@slack2thefuture) June 1, 2018
And in case you missed them, here are previous Thread Alerts:
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