Evolution of a dude screenwriter
July 25, 2008
So there’s this bit in the Hollywood Report about Evolution of a Screenwriter: A genre-busting generation is multi-tasking its way to the top. (You can read it here to check my math.)
I like to read these things whenever I start to feel a little bit too adequate. Very helpful in suppressing any latent tendencies toward repulsive vanity you might have overlooked.
This article is accompanied by a little cartoon illustrating the evolution of a screenwriter.
PANEL ONE: A dude in a green visor sits at a slanted desk and scratches out a script with a pen and ink pot.
PANEL TWO: A dude in a porkpie hat sits at a metal desk and types out a script on a typewriter.
PANEL THREE: A douche (male variety) in a HARVARD t-shirt and 80s jacket talks on the phone while idly tapping away on his laptop.
PANEL FOUR: A guy with a goatee checks out a message on his iPhone, turns up the volume on his iPod, and wears a backpack with a guitar sticking out of it. (Apparently, in the future, all screenwriters will be trust-fundies bumming around France.)
The illustration bothered me for some reason. I stared at it for a few seconds. Finally, it dawned on me. THESE WERE ALL DUDES. Screenwriter=person with y chromosome, obvy. It was like one of those marked/unmarked experiments you do in your entry-level linguistics class before you run out to smoke your cloves and adjust your beret.
THEN, something occurred to me. “Elana,” I thought, “You’re just being weird and paranoid. I bet the actual article, the giant cover feature that looks like it mentions many many writers and filmmakers, totally mentions one or two ladies. Because ladies write things or otherwise participate in the entertainment industry in many ways! It’s been that way for a while and is only rarely considered to be radical!”
So, in ANOTHER Comic Book Guy moment, I went through and counted. The author, one Jay A. Fernandez, name-checks twenty-three (23) writers, producers, managers, directors and multi-hyphenates.
Every single one was a dude.
How did this article go through multiple layers of editing and fact-checking and editorial meetings, and no one ever said “THIS ARTICLE IS A TOTAL SAUSAGEFEST, can we get some chicks up in here? There’s a lady somehow involved with the Terminator franchise, isn’t there? GET HER ON THE PHONE, STAT.”