Rampant misogyny runs through many of television’s writers’ room where your favorite shows are created, according to “Smash” creator Theresa Rebeck.
The creator detailed how she got fired from the show (which she created, wrote and ran the room for in Season 1) in a new book “Double Bind,” as excerpted by EW.
In the personal essay, Rebeck got candid about her firing, saying male writers on “Smash” “conspired” to have her fired, and replaced her with someone far less qualified.
“The person they gave it to had virtually no credentials and no experience in the theater,” she said bluntly. “His television credits were nowhere near as comprehensive as mine. The show died under his watch. Two years later, another net-work gave him another show to run. Meanwhile, I was still being told that I was unemployable because everyone knew that I was a lunatic.”
The person who replaced Rebeck on “Smash” in Season 2 was “Gossip Girl” alum Josh Safran, who went on to create and run the room for ABC’s “Quantico,” which is now in its second season.
But that experience wasn’t singular, Rebeck said.
“I tell stories about the shenanigans that go on in writers’ rooms, and my friends outside the business roar with laughter or cringe in disbelief,” she said. “The misogyny is beyond anything that people believe when I tell these stories.”
Rebeck went on to describe how male-dominated writers’ rooms would be filled with “fist-up-the-ass jokes,” how she, as a woman, would be tasked with writing “girl scenes,” and how she was chastised for speaking up against offensive jokes.
“The whole thing was dreadful. And I do want to do it again,” Rebeck concluded. “Is this like childbirth? You think, ‘Oh god, it’s so great having a kid, I don’t remember the pain.’ No, it’s actually not like that. The memory of the pain is pretty vivid… I wish this were not the story I have to tell today. I have other stories. I am anxious to get on with them.”