Season 11 of “The X-Files,” set to air on Fox, met with objections when it was discovered that it had an all-male writers’ room and no female directors.
Chairman and CEO of Fox Television Group Dana Walden told reporters at the Television Critics Association’s summer press tour Tuesday that she didn’t “want to make any excuses” about showrunner Chris Carter’s team, but that the all-male writers’ room came from the show’s tradition.
“I just want to explain that after 200+ episodes of a show that has a very deep and specific mythology, where the fanbase has a very high expectation that the episodes are going to deliver on those Easter eggs and they’re going to be consistent with those original episodes, the tendency is to want to rely on the people that helped you on the original,” Walden said. “The crew that was with Chris for a really long time happened to be a group of male writers.”
The internet quickly noticed after the news for a Season 11 was announced that
Star Gillian Anderson even tweeted her disappointment, adding that in over 200 episodes of the show, only two were directed by women.
— Gillian Anderson (@GillianA) June 29, 2017
Walden added though that two female writers had been brought on to helm episodes in the upcoming season, although she’s unclear if this was a reaction to the backlash.
“We hired the writers before the news broke,” she said. “No one was replaced. I’m not 100 percent sure of the chronology of this situation.”
It was announced Monday evening, and first reported by TVLine, that the show has hired two women to direct episodes. Carol Banker, who was a script supervisor on the original “X-Files” and a director on the “Lone Gunmen” spinoff series, will helm an episode along with Holly Dale, who’s directed episodes of “Quantico” and “Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles.” Walden added that half of the directors for Season 11 will be “diverse.”
“The X-Files” is set for a midseason start on Fox in 2018.