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Home » Archives » May 2007 » Depriving Rob Schneider of a Comedy Premise
[Previous entry: "Rockin' and Enrollin'"] [Next entry: "The Most Wonderful Time of the Year"]

05/12/2007: Depriving Rob Schneider of a Comedy Premise

Interesting. I have now received two letters from young straight white male writers who have expressed (joking) frustration at a perceived interest from agents or managers in representing "diversity writers." Both letters hinted around at the possibility of trying to present oneself as gay in hopes of appearing more desirable (as a client, presumably).

Clearly, this is a terrible idea and I will assume you guys were joking. But let's look, for a second, at the assumptions behind the joke. One has to assume:

1. Gay writers are in demand. Is it true? I checked with writer and friend-of-the-blog Drew Greenberg for an informed opinion. Drew?

I have yet to be on a writing staff where the show runner said, "You know what this show needs? More gay men. Hire me some of those!" Never heard it. Not once. Even on shows run by gay men. We still live in an era where being gay is considered being an outsider. Even in television.

Plus, I will point out that sexual orientation is not currently one of the criteria that is even credited with making a writer "diverse". So there's that.

Then there is a second assumption:

2. White male writers have a hard time getting hired. Is this true?

One of the reasons that agents or managers may be looking for writers with different backgrounds is because there are so many white male writers. That must mean someone is hiring them. Drew?

Here's the bottom line: I did some math. On the five staffs on which I've worked since Buffy, 77% of the writers were white men. 77%. That's three out of every four people, with an extra, what, arm or something. So if your agents tell you that you're less desirable as a client because you're a white man, tell your agents to come hang out on my staffs. I have something to show them.

I can support Drew's math here. In fact, I'm surprised he gets a number as low as 77%.

This is a hard business to break into. But it's hard for absolutely everyone. And you can do yourself the biggest possible favor by just worrying about your spec scripts since that's the part of this you can control. Be great and you will get noticed where it counts -- on the page!

Lunch: the chicken Caesar salad at California Chicken Café. It's got little toasty pieces of pita in it instead of croutons. Delightful!


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