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A still from the A&E series  "Damien" (A&E)
A still from the A&E series "Damien" (A&E)

Lights, camera, action

“Manterrupting” is banned in this workplace

By WITW Staff on March 14, 2016

Hollywood has come under scrutiny lately for its lack of race and gender diversity both in front of and behind the camera. One TV showrunner is doing what he can to reverse it. Glen Mazzara, creator of the new A&E series Damien (based on the 1976 film The Omen), made it a priority to hire a writing team that is 50 percent female.

When some of the female writers pointed out that they were frequently interrupted by their male colleagues during pitch meetings, Mazzara was surprised at first but listened to their feedback. “Every time they started to pitch someone interrupted them or stole the pitch or tried to change it,” he told Fortune. “I was complicit in this because my male ear was tuned to the interrupting male voice. So I realized I had behavior that I had to unlearn.” He then laid down a “no interrupting” rule.

Creator and executive producer Glen Mazzara (L) and "Damien" cast member Barbara Hershey. (REUTERS/Alex Gallardo)
Creator and executive producer Glen Mazzara (L) and “Damien” cast member Barbara Hershey. (REUTERS/Alex Gallardo)

Mazzara began paying attention to the make-up of writers’ rooms while the showrunner on The Shield, a police drama with a diverse cast, but written primarily by middle-aged white men. He decided a more diverse pool of writers would create more authentic material. His efforts led him to hire more writers of color as well as contribute to diversity initiatives within the Writers Guild.

Mazzara was also an executive producer and showrunner for The Walking Dead.

Read the full story at Fortune.


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