While doing my weekly Big S picture-trawl, I came across this interesting article in Jezebel, about the absence of female writers on the staff of big TV shows and movies. Now, as noted further down the article, when they claim that The Sarah Silverman Program has “zero” female writers, they’re obviously overlooking the fact that the series co-creator, head writer and executive producer is a woman (Sarah herself, obviously). Still it’s a bit of a surprise to learn that there aren’t any other women on the team. Apparently Laura makes up quite a few of her own jokes on set, but does that count? Not officially, no.
The part that really snagged my eye, was a quote from an academic study which suggested that “the greater the participation of women, the more thought-provoking but the less violent and fear-inducing is the resulting cinematic product.” As a fan of non-violence and provocative thought, I’d go along with that conclusion to some extent… certainly where my favourite Brit-based writer, Annie Griffin, is concerned… but a female duo were responsible for the recent Anna Faris flick House Bunny, which prompted very little intellectual discussion beyond the usual critical musing on why such an obviously talented comic-actress keeps taking such crappy, crappy roles.
As a wannabe writer it also intrigues me, because my own work tends to fall on the so-called “feminine” side of the line, with compassion and philosophising (spirituality?) where the mindless sex and violence should be… mostly because that’s the sort of comedy that I enjoy, and want to see more of. So, for purely selfish reasons, I’m hoping there’s some sort of genderquake in the industry at some point over the next few months, so my screenplays don’t land on stony ground. Thalia, we beseech thee!!!