When a man directs a show or film, shots of women are often voyeuristic and the content can be overshadowed by the fact that the story is being seen through the eyes of a man. Not to say that men can’t direct a poignant piece starring women; 2015’s Carol is a prime example, with director Todd Haynes doing a wonderful job of portraying a same-sex love story between two women. Still, women are needed behind the camera. In an announcement at its TCA panel today, NBC revealed that it will start what it calls the “Female Forward” program to begin to tackle the issue of gender inequality in television directing.
NBC president Jennifer Salke and TV director Lesli Linka Glatter partnered to spearhead the movement, which will see that more women direct the network’s shows. Salke herself has directed episodes of NBC’s forthcoming Law & Order spinoff, Law & Order True Crime: The Menendez Murders, a miniseries in the same vein as FX’s hit American Crime Story that will star Edie Falco as a defense lawyer.
For “Female Forward,” 10 female directors will be given the chance to shadow up to three episodes of a series on NBC during the 2018-19 season while directing at least one of the three.
“It shouldn’t be harder for our daughters to direct than for our sons. It should be an equal playing field,” explained Glatter, per Deadline. “”I’m truly optimistic that with this kind of commitment from the incredible Jen Salke and NBC Entertainment, we can actually make a difference. A program like this is a game changer, and it’s an honor to be a part of it.”
We’re looking forward to seeing this program come to fruition.