We have a warning for everyone in the television industry:
Watch your backs, because someone may be looking to sabotage your TV show!
A couple of years ago, there were three people who worked at the same network:
Showrunner 1 (SR1), Showrunner 2 (SR2) and a high-ranking Network Executive (NE).
SR1’s show had a cast of several young female leads.
The show was doing fine as far as ratings were concerned, and the cast and crew were confident that the show was going to be renewed for the following season. In the middle of taping one day, SR1 received a call from NE.
NE said that they had a serious problem.
It turns out that SR2 had complained to the network about SR1’s show.
SR1 was surprised, because SR2 had absolutely no relationship to SR1’s show or its cast or crew.
So, what was SR2’s complaint?
SR1’s show was “too white.”
SR2 wanted the network to force SR1 to recast some of the leads with black actresses.
SR1 was SHOCKED!
How dare SR2 try to interfere in a show that had nothing to do with them!
“Right in front of the cast and crew, SR1 got into a shouting match with NE.
“This is MY fucking show and I am going to write MY show and cast MY show MY way!
I don’t give a fuck what [SR2] thinks or what [SR2] wants!” There’s one additional fact that makes this story interesting.
All three of the people in our story are very experienced and very respected in the industry.
And all three are women.
So, why – on a network with lots of shows and very few female showrunners – would SR2 target SR1?
SR1 was yelling, “That hack can go fuck herself!
She wants to be the only fucking female writer.
That’s why she is trying to sabotage another show with a female writer.
While we are actually busy actually putting together a coherent episode with interesting characters and good dialogue, all [SR2] has to do on her show is tell her team of writers to include fucking sex or fucking alcohol in every episode, and damn the dialogue!
If she is so fucking jealous of my writing skills, maybe she should stop stuffing her fucking face and actually sit down and write!
[SR2] can’t force me to do anything. I will not changing a fucking thing!”
And why would a top network executive even insert herself into this mess?
She told NE, “Frankly, I’m surprised that you are letting her manipulate you like this.
Is she pulling the fucking race card on you and the network?” Yes.
SR1’s show was cancelled.
SR2 now has multiple shows on the same network.
And, after many years at the top, the Network Executive “stepped down” from her job to “pursue other interests.”
Thus concludes today’s episode of “How To Get Away With Sabotaging A TV Show.”
Watch your backs, people, because a certain SR may be coming for YOU!
Showrunner 1: Maggie Friedman
Showrunner 2: Shonda Rhimes
Network Executive: Anne Sweeney