How the ‘Head of the Class’ Co-Creators Built a Healthy Space for Female Writers Back in the ’80s | PRO Insight

When people excuse behavior toward women on shows from the ’80s and ’90s, saying, “It was a different time,” I say, “Not for everyone,” Lisa Rosenthal writes

I never worked on a TV show where a male writer declared it “rape day” or groped me or watched porn in the writers room, some of the actions attributed to Eric Weinberg. This was, as one female writer was quoted, “The worst of the worst.” This is the big stuff.

But in my nearly 20 years as a sitcom writer, I experienced plenty of medium to small stuff. Everything from a showrunner’s hanging women’s underpants on his lamp, to being told women aren’t funny, to being asked if my contribution to a script was making the coffee, to innumerable jokes about my breasts (using what they felt were hilarious euphemisms, usually vehicles or animals). Each time I’d laugh and blow it off. Yes, it wore me down. But I wanted to work. And it had happened on every show.

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