Yo, CBS. Step up your game, or we’re boycotting you.
The network was grilled at the Television Critics Association’s summer press tour on Tuesday. And rightfully so.
CBS is producing six new shows for their fall lineup. And not a single features a female lead. Nice.
Senior executive vice president of programming Thom Sherman explained that there were some female-led shows developed by the network, but they were not picked up. He stated,
“The way things turned out, those pilots were not felt to be as good as some of the other series that were picked up. That’s just the cycle of business and how it happens sometimes.”
*Commence gagging and eye-rolling on an endless loop til I die*
This is what happens when they don’t hire females and people of color take the reins behind the camera. Cruddy white guy “sitcoms” rise and interesting shows with a more representative cast get lost because there are not enough people to write and produce them.
How long will this buffoonery continue? I mean honestly, this discussion is getting exhausting. No wonder I’m tired all the time.
And this isn’t the first time that the network has had issues related to representation and diversity in their programming.
You may recall that in June, Hawaii Five-O stars Daniel Dae Kim and Grace Park left the show as they were not being paid the same as their white co-stars. The network insisted that “we made very, very strong attempts to keep them and offered them a lot of money to stick around.”
Based on the fact that the actors still chose not to return, I’m not so convinced that these were “very, very strong attempts.” And honestly, I applaud these actors for taking a career risk, to stand by their principles.
Additionally, back in March, the male leads of The Big Bang Theory took pay cuts so that their female co-stars could have close to equal pay. They were previously making 20% of what the male leads were making. Absolutely absurd.
So this announcement of the new pilots is extra infuriating. It’s like they are not even trying at all.
Jessica Chastain is fuming about this too and gives some good advice.
— Jessica Chastain (@jes_chastain) August 2, 2017
She’s so right. There are so many other things to watch. Why support a network that is completely blind to the world we live in?
The success of a show is generally based on ratings, which are calculated on viewership (both live and streaming). Let’s send the network a message by NOT watching these new shows. I mean seriously, there is so much good content out there on other networks, plus streaming services. There is no shortage of amazing programming to watch, especially ones with more diverse casts.
This kind of cycle is systemic, and CBS seems particularly opposed to change. They won’t unless we make them. So flip the channel and send them a message.
Allie Bush is a Contributing Writer at Femestella. She is interested in creating and sharing entertaining and engaging content, in whatever form it may take. She is a proud TV junkie and in her spare time can be found watching late night talk shows, talking about Chrissy Teigen or Amy Poehler, or eating off of other people’s plates.