While we’re still nursing our wounds about the snubbing of Selma director Ava DuVernay by the Academy Awards, here’s a rare story of actual feminist triumph in the showbiz world that might cheer you up.
Garry Marshall illustrated how much progress women writers have made in the TV world when he revealed earlier this week that female scribes were banned from penning episodes of the original Odd Couple, which ran from 1970 to 1975 by the network. That network was ABC, which currently has handed over control of its entire Thursday primetime programming to Shonda Rhimes.
“They weren’t allowed, they wouldn’t hire any,” recalled Marshall, who served as executive producer on the old sitcom. “I had three of the greatest writers: Susan Silver, who went on to Mary Tyler Moore; Susan Harris [Soap, Benson, The Golden Girls], who became one of the best writers in the world; and Susan Miller, who was the head writer on Saturday Night Live, all not hired.”
Marshall is overseeing an updated version of The Odd Couple for CBS, whose female writers have “improved the whole show.” “This show has three great female writers,” he boasted, “[and] they help balance it out.”