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HBO Seeks Diverse, Emerging Writers for HBOAccess Writing Fellowship

HBO Seeks Diverse, Emerging Writers for HBOAccess Writing Fellowship

HBO has announced the launch of the HBOAccess Writing Fellowship which will begin accepting applications on March 4, 2015. The program will give emerging writers from diverse backgrounds an opportunity to attend a week of master classes held at the HBO campus in Santa Monica, California focusing on character and story development, pitching ideas and projects, securing an agent, and networking. Each participant will then enter into an 8-month writing phase where he/she will be paired with an HBO development executive and guided through the script development process. At the conclusion of the program, HBO will hold a reception and staged reading for industry professionals where the writers will be introduced to the entertainment industry.

“With the success of our first year of the HBOAccess Directing fellowship, we wanted to expand our focus to other areas of the creative process,” said Kelly Edwards, Vice President, HBO Talent Development. “We are looking for emerging writers with a deep passion for storytelling and a unique voice who will want to bring that talent to HBO and Cinemax. In turn, they will be nurtured by some of the best creative executives and showrunners in the business. HBO has a long legacy of supporting writers and we are excited we can begin those relationships at this early stage.”

Last year’s inaugural HBOAccess Directing Fellowship proved to be a tremendous success. 4 directors were selected to go through a series of lectures with HBO executives, mentors, and industry professionals. The program concluded with the production of 4 short films which are set to air in March on HBO On Demand and HBO GO.

The HBOAccess Writing Fellowship is open to diverse and female writers 21 and older who must be able to work in the US. Prior to the application, the writer must NOT have been staffed on a network or cable series in excess of 13 episodes and/or had more than one feature film or more than two plays produced.

All submissions must be made through the online portal, Without A Box, and will require a resume, a writing sample, a completed release form and a personal essay in 500 words or less explaining how his/her background has influenced his/her storytelling. For more information on eligibility, visit

Timeline and Important Dates:

March 4, 2015 – Application process opens at The application portal will close when 1,000 submissions have been reached. No mail or email submissions will be accepted.

May, 2015 – 20 candidates advance to first round interviews with HBOAccess(TM) program directors via in person or Skype.

June 2015 – Final interviews with HBO development and production executives. All applicants selected to the final round must provide a second writing sample. They must also be prepared to pitch up to three ideas, one of which will be developed during the eight month long mentorship.

July 1, 2015 – Eight participants are notified.

August 17-21, 2015 – Master classes will take place over a one week period at the HBO offices in Santa Monica, CA from 10am to 5pm. Any finalist not local to the Los Angeles area must be prepared to cover his/her own travel and lodging for the duration of the program, however a small stipend will be available to defray those costs.

This Article is related to: Television and tagged



Hey Steve – Just wondering how you can disagree with "their definition of diversity" when they haven’t actually given any definition. Using the word is not the same as defining it. Feel free to apply! When you don’t get it you’ll just have to accept that you can’t offer what they’re looking for – in this case, a different perspective from the straight, white, cis-gendered, male perspective that dominates every single medium we’re exposed to.


It would be great if they offered this to Caribbean nationals.


Look for talents, I agree. No matter who they are.

Isabel Healy

What on earth do you mean by "diverse and female writers 21 and over"? Does this mean that only women are eligible? Does this mean that you have to SPECIFY that it is also open to women as well as men? Is this what America has come to? Appalling!

Angela Fontanez

Diversity. Is that the new term that includes people over 60, Black/Puerto Rican women who are retired and would need to hock their butt to pay for an airline ticket? If so, pu-leez let me know, so I can apply. Sadly, and all too often, cover-your-ass-and-be-politically correct language is used, in these programs, and the real deal is that race and class are not taken into account. In many instances, people of color are in a lower income bracket, making it hard or impossible, as in my case, to pay for a ticket to CA, let alone pay for room and board. But you kinda know that, don’t you?
Now in 2016 we are not "minorities" but a diverse group to include LGBT folk. Fact of the matter is, I may never write to make

money, but I will not be marginalized, and

that, my HBO friends, feels fucking Goooooood!
PS: I am a two time Emmy Award Winning Producer Director. Of course, I worked
for a nobody-ever-heard-of PBS station, WNYC-TV in New York, but I beat out my peers at CBS, NBC and ABC. That felt fucking good, too. I was hired at WNET-TV in 1968 as a direct result of the Kerner Commission Report, which stated that not enough women and "minorities" work in the broadcast industry. Since I am a Black Hispanic female they hit the jack pot with me, the Little Latina that Could–and did. Thank You for letting Me Share.

Jessica Peters

Hi, I’m both black AND a woman, can I apply twice?

Fred Sterne

Go ahead, let these people of color have their chance, because they are no competition anyway. Lets see how many people flock to see their projects, as they are no threat at all. I say give it to them, so they can stop blaming it on whites for taking away their chances. Isn’t that what they are always crying about, poor babies.

mary sterne

Lets see how many of these so called writers who are picking on Steve, because God forbid he had an opinion that was different from there racist self, really make it. Most of their scripts are going to be flops, so let them have their 10 minutes.

John Krolee

That is why Troy you will never make it. Why do white male writers have to take a back seat on this. If you are talented then it should be based on that. One thing nobody can do, is force the public to watch something they have no interest in, so no money is made!


    Stupid comment John and brainwashed I see. Explaining to you the bigger picture I trust is a waste of my time, so ill just say this, boohoo, for the first time ur taking a back seat and now, u are crying like a bitch. Get over it; for there are probably more rich better black writers than whites.


As a white male screenwriter looking to have a career in film and especially television, I would jump through hoops of fire for an opportunity to work at HBO. That said, the fact is we need more diversity in Hollywood, and if I have to sit this one out so that we get a little more, so be it. We all have to be a part of the change.


Steve. Stop it. Affirmative Action doesn’t reward unqualified people who are ethnic or apart of an underrepresented class. It gives highly qualified people, who happen to be ethnic and underrepresented, a chance to compete with their Caucasian counterparts. Because, despite your refusal to read books, or stats, or…I dunno, history, these groups are often kept OUT of these opportunities. Even when they are just as qualified, if not more so, than their white counterparts. That’s why these contests exists. It helps break down the barriers. So stop your whining. Every single thing can’t always be about white males. My God.


Yes Steve, I want to see a contest to bring more White Males into the mix, because God knows they are a sorry bunch of people who don’t run Hollywood and certainly can’t get a foothold in it.


Steve, these "affirmative action leaning contests" are necessary to redress the balance in terms of gender and race within the world of television and film. It’s not so long ago that black people could not enter a restaurant or pool never mind have their script read by an executive…it’s not that long ago that women in England didn’t even GO to school. We’ve had to catch up on centuries of no education. So push off and get angry about something that you can change.



Cheryl Scott

You all need to realize the opportunity and quit complaining. None of you should get in if this is all you are thinking about. What an amazing opportunity for gifted writers.

Darren Bailey

The Timeline and Important Dates section all say 2015, not 2016.

Sharon L. Narcisse

This is such a great opportunity.

Deneene Collins

This is a wonderful opportunity. Is this available for 2016?


Steve, here’s exactly how your contribution to this conversation reads to anyone visiting:



Great. We need that diverse lens. We are tired of the same old stories about boring white people

Laulita Horton

Great opportunity!!


LOL commenter "Steve" and his white straight male tears

Jon leepile

I would like to enter but im not sure if i understand the nature of the opportunity you’re offering

Maisha Yearwood

Steve, clearly you don’t understand the access you’re granted from being white and male. Go have a seat somewhere.

Kelly Grace Thomas

It would help if they told us when the portal opens? Any comments HBO?

john kellia

Why is it all these programs always cater to people of color, can’t they just make it on their own. If you have talent, you do, now they are going to take lesser talent because Hollywood has to prove a point and open its doors to more diversity? There are millions of struggling white writers who can’t seem to make it through the door, so don’t have me cry you a river because you are a person of color, make it on your own like the rest of us. Go Steve

mary Hemsway

Such racism here, agree with Steve!!!

Ivan Toth

What a fantastic opportunity for minorities with money.

Miles Ellison

"It should be your talent that matters, not the color of your skin or your gender" An admirable sentiment, though it seems that most people who trot it out think only white people have any talent.

Lawrence Sneed

I understand that some people are upset that minorities and women are being singled out for a chance to have a seat at the table. Maybe if the opportunities exsisted without provisions being made for them, this process wouldn’t be necessary. Maybe if you were good enough or were able to write material that would choke out these peoples talent, you could succeed in this industry. Good writing is good writing. But if no one knows you can write, you can never compete.

Laura Miller

How do I add my voice you want to hear my voice? You will love my voice. I can write. What you want a short story from me I can give you one in a heartbeat whether good or bad or indifferent I’m that woman.


Great opportunity. Is this offered for 2016 as well?

Cary Peck

Whites have benefited from the lack of opportunities of people of color most markedly Blacks. To those that cannot get this through their thick skulls STFU and SYAD.


I believe all writers struggle. All jobs are very difficult. However, only the strong can survive in any field of study. Btw, how small is this stipend?


Diverse? Hmmm… I must be the only white male who feels negatively affected by affirmative action bullshit. Is that diverse enough for you?


"It should be your talent that matters, not the color of your skin or your gender"

Thanks, Steve, for the insight. Your point highlights *precisely* why fellowships like this are necessary. Spot on.

k benn

So many stories of triumph, pain, love , murder, song, pleasure, adventure, drama, suspense, real life and more but you come on my turf and seek me I got a job in the real world bills gotta be paid and dreams go on hold there’s my sample

mike ames

so no caucasians, right?


Why does HBO need writers? They keep shutting down series and mini-series right before/during production.

Steve Is Stupid



These comments above are proof of why we need fellowships like this one!


I am confused. The dates on the timeline say 2015. Is it 2015 or 2016 that the deadlines are a go?


I’m missing the age requirement by SEVEN MONTHS. I was so excited too.

Tony Maurice

Unfortunately, a lot of minorities whether Black, Hispanic, women, or other don’t get a fare opportunity. So if HBO is doing this then I applaud. I’ve been writing for years but never had anything produced or performed. I would love this exposure however I can get it without having to it some scam & losing my money.


I am so going to enter. Hope I win

Vincent Terrell Durham

Here we go again. Didn’t HBO learn anything from last year’s failure? The site crashed due to traffic and the submission limit. Once again submissions are limited to the first 1000. Ummm, there’s much more diversity out there than 1000. Prepare for another crash. I won’t be wasting my time on this lottery. Bye HBO!

fay posley

are there any 2016 opportunities

Mark F.

Great job HBO! Your network is always looking for fresh, new perspectives to provide some of the best entertainment on television today!


This is wonderful! and to the person (VC)above with the "jumping through hoops comment" I hope you being sarcastic….submitting a writing sample is not jumping through hoops that is standard selection process. (Steve)If it has been based on talent, then your saying there are relatively no minority writers with talent, because if we look at hollywood writers as a whole majority are white male.

B R Peabody

Can’t jump through these hoops anymore lolol, too old and short tempered. Talent is what matters, those who have read my book Genevieve rave and say it should be made into a miniseries, *historical costume drama. It will never happen, which is not my loss. I grieve for the loss of the art form I worship. I couldn’t afford the trip to the US anyway…


No inclusion of LGBTQ or disabled filmmakers for your fellowship on "minorities". Disability is the worlds largest minority and least included in Hollywood.


I love how white people whine and moan and complain the very second that the scales aren’t tipped in their favor. Ha-ha! Now you know how it feels.


If you’re coming in with the assumption that the entertainment industry is a meritocracy, you are really unqualified to comment on it. If affirmative action for diverse writers bothers you, then the current system of affirmative action for white males should bother you too. That’s the reality of it.

Thadine Quick

Went through this last year. But mama didn’t raise no fool. I’m in! ��

Thadine Quick

Interesting ❤️��

Edward Martin III

I am delighted to share this with my filmmaker buddies who are struggling to find ways to break in and face worse odds on account of their sex, their race, and so forth. I checked this morning and so far, "voices of the diverse" doesn’t actually pose a personal threat to me, so as a guy who can pass for the majority, I’m completely supportive of competitions that don’t apply to me. A rising tide lifts all ships. The only folks I can imagine feeling put out by this are like those folks in lifeboat movies that are so desperate to be saved that they hurt the chances of everybody else. We all know that THOSE folks are stupid villains in the movies, and I certainly don’t want to be a stupid villain in real life! Go forth and write!


But HBO recognizes that many decision makers do use the color of skin or gender to make their decision. In their wisdom, they are giving a few people opportunities to show they can be just as successful given a level playing field.


You are right, talent should be the only thing that matters

fulani carter

I get a real kick out of seeing white people, crying cuz a few people of color might finally get some of the attention, whites have always had. It just supports how weak and scared these clowns are now that it’s not so easy for them.



Just change your name like the Jenner did, you can be Stevena and boom you’re in. HBO would eat that business up.

Nance Parry

Does diversity include age?

Jennifer Garcia

Diversity just means different not necessarily ethnic or female. Being from a different background as in living in a military family that has lived in vastly different states represents diversity. Not being a cookie cutter byproduct of a what people expect in a person can mean diversity. It can also mean being from diverse segments of society through your career choice, in this case possibly writing has been a hobby but you actually work in another industry.

Greg Miller

Be sure to read the fine print. By submitting material you are giving HBO the right to any material you submit for $500. Seriously.

E Carolyn Tucker

Their submissions limit has been met. Do not bother to get excited or vengeful (Steve) about it.

John A. Herrera

It will be interesting to submit input from one’s own fund of knowledge and experiences.

julia tripp

An opportunity is an opportunity, and while I actually agree with to some degree with all of your comments, I’m going to jump and see where I land. I’m an optimistic opportunist.

Erik Viking

Geez, the submission limit was met in 24 hours.

Tabitha Kay Scaife

Congratulations HBO; you have just been given the opportunity 0f your lives, and i do mean business; when i share with you that i am not only gifted at transcription compartmentalizing, of varying stages and types, but also the manifestation of some of the most prolific originaltranscripts;imaginable, with flaming passion and vitality flowing through every letter i write; that forms a word, every word i write that forms a sentence, every sentence i write the forms a paragraph, and every paragraph that i use to formalate outstanding stories; that have never been heard of therefore have yet to be
I’m just waiting on your invitation which comfirms you’re ready to hear them, I’m referencing my internal written cast members, because my transcript characters love too venture outside their comfort zone and be s apart of the open forum, they work hard at being great at who they play, so any opportunity they have to be who they are will be exciting to them.

Brenda Jallits

Im having trouble submitting.Withoutabox Is Currently Unavailable

We, at Withoutabox, are currently running some site-wide maintenance operations. During this brief time that the site is unavailable you will not be able to access your Withoutabox account. We apologize for the inconvenience.


I have a "A BEAUTIFUL SON". I started a memoir and I was eleborating on my family and realized that this one son is an exception individual who finished school with a tech degree, got hired at one of his choice places to work and has been a help to his mom who is 40 years older than him and in my retirement years. I marvel at this particular child because he managed to survive under duress at certain time. I knew of his struggle but could nothing the time. But this child manage not to be a statistic on the front pages of newspapers growing up a African-American and living in impovished sections of New York and Pennsylvania, where he thrived and excelled. So I don’t believe in affirmative-action, he is already affirmed. I do know you have to apply yourself and extend yourself to get what you want out of life and Chris is on his way. I pray for his survival in this hostile environment. My writing is about him as a learning example for other black boys.


Let me guess Steve you’re a white dude right? You actually believe Hollywood doesn’t overwhelmingly favor cis white men in their talent searches and white people overall? Wake the up, because this is well documented.

Dara Lebrun

Glad to see that HBO recognizes the problem and is offering application waivers.


Very unfortunate that I sat for almost 2 hours on the site and it would not load anything. I continuously logged in and out and now it’s closed. It doesn’t make sense if people cant actually get on site. Very unfortunate and disappointing.

Tuere Morton

So glad to see multiple articles about the site crashing. Didn’t know if I’d believed it was a real contest. Sad that I couldn’t get through after working so hard on the submission requirements *sigh*


Never again with Withoutabox. Nightmare. If they can’t handle the volume, HBO should use some other method. And get the damn thing set up properly. Listing March 5th as the entry date was a huge snafu on their part. I don’t know if that was just on the east coast, because some people on this thread seemed to get in just fine. I hope one of you gets one of those spots. :)


The ‘portal’ wasn’t open on March 4th when I checked it at 12:01 AM, 4:00 AM, and 9:01 AM. It kept saying the opening date was March 5th. I went back at 1:17 PM…. the submissions are closed…they have their 1000 entries. WTF?


apparenently hbo knows they screwed up and are letting a few more in
Go to deadline for the info. Best wishes to all


It was hard as heck to get through, but I was able to make it in time. Had to keep hitting refresh and apply lots of patience. Best wishes to all who could and couldn’t get through. You never know what other opportunities await you.


i have to vouch for without a box guy. If you use Firefox you were probably good. Unfortunately I didn’t have Firefox until 1115 am lol which was too late. Chrome and explorer were crap. But still doesn’t change the fact hbo and without a box screwed the whole process up


I stand corrected and apologize. The 8 month deal is remote from home.


Steve, I’m black and I agree with you on the race card issue. But I don’t agree on the geographic card. How diverse can it be when you have to pay for your own lodging and food for eight months. C’mon HBO GO ALL THE WAY. Don’t do it cheap.

Withoutabox Guy

Dara, I’m not trying to fool you, hon. My submission went through. It took some doing. I just don’t think it was hacked. I agree with the incompetently constructed, yes. It took some doing but I am used to dealing with Withoutabox and I figured it out. I go to my "Submission Status" and my submission is there. Sorry that you didn’t have any luck with the submission process.

Dara Lebrun

WITHOUTABOXGUY- you don’t fool me. Everyone else on this thread could not submit material. Whether the site was hacked or incompetently constructed, this opportunity backfired on too many of us. I urge others to complain to HBO. I intend to!


It says submittion deactivated on the Withouthabox.


What KATHEY said. If you never used it, it can be a pain in the you know what. I’m glad my days of submitting anything through withoutabox are over.


Complete waste of time. Site frozen. Wasted three hours. Shameful.


The submission process was hard to figure out if you haven’t used Withoutabox before. Now I just found out it already closed. Please make this submission process easier. It was so hard to find out where to submit. I managed to upload it, but could not find HBO in the drop down menu or any path to submit. Disappointed. I’ve been trying since 6 a.m.


Sorry to all those who didn’t get a chance to submit. I know how much this meant to you. The article has over 200 comments, most of which were directed at STEVE. But to answer you question JOE BLOW, ignore "services coming soon." If there isn’t a "Submit Now" but available then it’s a wrap. I’m only speaking from experience having submitted maybe two films about a decade ago when Withoutabox was just getting started, which I can safely say was a life changing experience when I got into film festivals that opened doors for me. Good luck to you WITHOUTABOX GUY.

Linda Garcia

What a disappointment, been trying since 9, and I was never able to upload or get past they synopsis screen. Now it’s over. Seems they were totally unprepared.



What a poorly constructed site that had me wasting nearly 3 hours. Ridiculous.


What a disaster – the withoutabox page was down for most of the first two hours, and when I was finally ready to submit I was told the submission window was closed.
This process is highly frustrating and their website is a complete disaster.

Joe Blow

If the they reach there 1000, why does it say "services coming soon." And how on earth did anyone submit their work through that mess?!


That was a big waste of my time. I was online at 12 noon EST and the withoutabox website froze immediately. After waiting 2.5 hours for the pages to load, the submissions where filled. Wow!


Looks like the have their 1000— thank you withoutabox for being on the ball with this, you were so prepared!!! I only had to wait 2 hours plus to hear that submissions have ended SMDH

Withoutabox Guy

Dara, it wasn’t hacked. I’m trying to tell you people, I was able to submit. I have my receipt and everything. I came in at about 560 something so I’m guessing I was the 560-something person who submitted. People seem to be submitting so instead coming here to complain and whine, keep trying. Like I said, you have to understand your browser and be patient. I used Firefox. I clicked until I saw it working, then I would leave it to go do something else. Once it stopped, it presented the next page, then the next, the same process. I made sure to fill in each space, even if I could only give them one sentence answers then submitted. The first time I tried, it didn’t work. I left a space blank and had to start from scratch. The same slowness. I can’t tell you if it was through my direct access to the withoutabox website since I have an account already or if it was through the HBO site. I had two tabs working at the same time. I think it was the HBO link. Be patient and don’t be pushy with the site. Use Firefox. I tried Google Chrome and it never loaded up the site.


trying to upload an application for almost two hours withoutabox logs me out.. Not a good idea to use this system.. very unhappy with this process…


What a joke: withoutabox is totally unprepared for this. The submission site was already overwhelmed at 9 am, and none of their pages load if you are lucky enough to get as far as their stupid login.


Hello! the link is not working for me

Jonny Wright

Have been trying to submit for 1 hour and 48 mins. Without A Box is a terrible website, why don’t you guys take email submissions?

Dara Lebrun

Guys, you didn’t miss anything. March 4 and the submission portal was completely hacked. Very poorly construed on the part of HBOAccess.


Nice Withoutabox crashed a minute after it opened and now I can’t submit.


All great except withoutabox site doesn’t open nationally and their fb page is also down. So…no way to load your entry. Thanks a bunch HBO.


You people are still trying to change the mind of this STEVE character? LOL! I hope you people get a chance to submit, as important of an opportunity this is for you. Stop wasting time on people who do so little for you in your life. Smdh.


Steve, you are assuming that people of color and women dont have talent? ALL save two HBO shows are written by white males. It’s not about giving people who don’t have talent a job. It’s about helping people who do have talent find a way to tell and show quality storytelling. It is the talent that matters but somehow that talent is not as easy to showcase for women and people of color. I think the problem is that you think people who are not talented are getting a free ride, but that’s not true. The fact is that someone who has just as much talent as you will have many more obstacles to get to Hollywood than you just because you’re a white male. Nothing else. Just because of that one single trait. People,write about Who they are, so let’s see those stories that you could not write.

Withoutabox Guy

It is a terrible way but I was able to submit. You have to be patient and refrain from clicking too much. Just let it take its time. I just submitted like 3 minutes ago. But I wish they used a better, more reliable process for this. It makes me understand why No Brainer is ridiculing it. They have us struggling just to submit.


wow… i can’t believe i did ALL THIS WORK and HBO will never know cuz of this ridiculous site! *&^%$#@!


This "withoutabox" is a terrible way to submit applications. Several people cannot submit applications because the website would not load once the clock hit 9am.


the stupid site won’t even let you on to submit… i hate Without A Box… so crappy…


The website went down at 9am. It’s still down. Not sure if anyone’s been able to register.


Don’t worry, LINDA. This isn’t the end all. Nothing sucks about not being able to submit. It might just be the best thing that could happen for you. Screw HBO.


The more I thought about it last night and noticed the application process not starting until 9am instead of midnight, I had a feeling this would happen. So here we are………..

Linda Garcia

Couldn’t even get in to submit! This Sucks!!!


Sounds like the system is about to crash. You people are not playing. That’s good. What’s bad is watching you cram the hole like rats fleeing for their lives. HBO doesn’t deserve this sort of satisfaction.


Also can’t get the website to come up. Does anyone know if they have address this?


Tsk, tsk, tsk. You people are off to the races on go, aren’t you, like a race horse. I hope you all find a better, more practical way of getting in the business. This right here is a meat market and you’re the cattle. I would forget all about it and start writing another script, or a pilot/Bible. Like Robert Frost said, take the road less taken. This right here is just a traffic jam. It’s kind of embarrassing.


I’ve been trying to submit the application for the past 30 minutes. It seems like the website is crashing. Is anyone else having this problem? Any ideas?


I canʻt get the website to come up correctly.

Megan Dyer

The site crashed immediately. Then what?

Cheing Winston

unable to login into withoutabox, cannot submit my application


The Withoutabox site is crashed. Impossible to apply.

Lewis V. Johnson

Whats wrong with the link. It won’t let me open without a box to submit


Well Steve White America it’s current State which you more than any other culture helped create is at it’s happiest when people of color are no where in the conversation as it relates to the film industry at large. You seem to delight in the lack of any opportunity for any culture other than those with pristine White skin. This is not payback or revenge adjustments it’s simply in the words of Malcolm X "The Chickens Coming Home To Roost" it will be all best when we can sit in a room and none of us got there based on color but on sheer talent and not the Homey hook up. it serves us best when it’s a fair level uncolored playing ground where I can read your screenplay and never know your ethnicity but delight in the story which depicts all cultures to some degree in a balance way that only serves the story!


This is in reply to STEVE: Have you set foot on a film set? Inside a writer’s room? Inside a post-house? If you have, you’ve probably noticed that these are almost exclusively lilly-white, male environments. Much more so than other industries (such as, say, finance or even tech). I tend to be skeptical of people who complain about "privilege," but this is a clear case of an industry that is often blind to its white, male privilege. I’m glad that HBO is taking a small step to rectify it, though I agree with the other commenter: HBO might want to consider simply committing to hiring more women and people of color as writers/directors/producers, instead of making them jump through hoops such as these.


Don’t be sorry Steve. It’s your right to be racist. God bless white ‘MERICA, and no place else!


Stop the complaining and write.


"Each participant will then enter into an 8-month writing phase where he/she will be paired with an HBO development executive and guided through the script development process."

He/she? Is this for diverse and female, or diverse, and female?


Steve you hit the nail on the head, this is ridiculous.


Does anyone know how long it took to reach 1,000 submissions last year?


ILLYAH says, "If you commence use of the Materials in violation of this Release, and provided that I own the Materials and the Materials are original, novel, protectible and valuable, you agree to pay me as total compensation therefor such sum of money as we may subsequently agree upon in writing. If we have not attempted or are unable to agree upon the sum, and you commence the use of the Materials in violation of this Release, you will pay me, and I will accept as consideration for all rights of every kind in the Materials, the sum of Five Hundred Dollars ($500)." This does sound suspect, the only part that is suspect as this is just a standard agreement. They’re just watching their own asses. For most of these writer’s, it might be worth a shot. It can’t hurt. It’s fine. I do find it interesting, thought, how no one paid any attention to, or should I say responded to your post. It’s probably the only thing worth noting here. Black people need to stop being such cattle.

Equality is for other people too

Steve, women and minorities are woefully underrepresented in film and TV. This includes the LGBTQ community… basically everyone but white men, because they already occupy more than EIGHTY percent of the writing and showrunner positions. So maybe the rest of the planet could use a little boost. Good luck to all! (Not only am I diverse, I’m not even American. Gasp!)


where is the release form?


I really think it was meant to read "diverse male and female.." It is probably a simple typo or it would have read "diverse, female.."
Much ado about nothing?


I really think there was a typo. It most likely meant to read, diverse male and female…. It wouldn’t say Diverse and female. It was simply read diverse, female…

Dion Perkins

Hello i am an author that is working on my third and fourth books I can promise you that i am better than a lot of writers out here but because i’m an African American i don’t have the chance that some people do or the money. But i won’t let that stop me i’m gonna make it one day. hey it could be for HBO


I noticed the following paragraph in the Without A Box Terms of Service. No idea why the "portal" to submit material to HBO would be making any claim on it – and I’d think that would conflict with rights that HBO might want if they like the material. But certainly makes me reconsider even entering:

You grant us a nonexclusive, royalty-free, worldwide, perpetual, and irrevocable right to copy, transmit, modify, adapt, publish, translate, create derivative works from, distribute, and display any information, data, Work, or any other information associated with your Work (collectively the “Submitted Materials”) you submit to us via the Services in any media or format. Your use of the Services does not grant us ownership of your Work. As between you and us, you retain ownership of your Work.


Steve is a nut, and an apathetic beneficiary of white supremacy. Boooooo!


I have written four books that many have commented should become a miniseries on Hallmark. Doubt if I would fit into HBO.


Unfortunately I’m a white male and I can’t participate.
I bust my ass at a minimum wage job because my whiteness and maleness make me "overqualified" for ever acceptable position I apply for. Then I am consistently reading these opportunities that are closed off to me.
This is racism. This is sexism. This is not acceptable.


The world will not stop labeling us until we stop labeling ourselves. Perhaps the only true diverse creature remaining is the one that is content just being a human being. Hollywood casts roles all the time. They seek a specific look or gender without question. I believe it is the same for a certain voice. Write what you know has never been more relevant.


Dear Indiewire – please turn off the comments. Hatebait.

Jason Schlosberg

I think the writer of this piece should be fired for inconsistent writing. The text refers to applicants as he/she or his/her, but then limits the opportunity to female writers. If this is in fact geared only towards female writers, there appears to be no justification for such discrimination. When you cut out half the potential applicant pool, you can’t put forth that you’re looking for diverse talents.


you would say that, Steve. gah, you are such a STEVE.


@ Steve. There are contests for everyone. Sooner or later one will be perfect for you and what you write. I don’t complain when they throw a contest for only high school seniors or veterans, or only want the mystery genre when I write romance. That’s the breaks. This one’s for me. Finally.


this class will be filled with individuals, who will pitch a follow up for the next Transformers movie. No original talent will be accepted!!

Mike Muse

Not sure why all the vitriol toward diversity. I didn’t even see one mention or reference to ethnicity or gender at all.


@Steve: I agree. Just cuz I’m a white male, that isn’t an AUTOMATIC advantage. There’s thousands of white male writers trying to get into the system.

christopher J.hines

Why only in Los Angles? What about New York?


I’m British, so I guess I’m screwed… [sadface]

The Advocationist

I am a bisexual, polyamorous white male. Tell me the truth. Do I even have a shot at this?


This is a great thing they’re doing, we all know how hard it is to move forward when your always being over looked. And they know that we’ll have a different perspective and innovative ideas . Thank you HBO ! You’ll be getting my submission .

Ronnie Gonzalez

Translation: HBO seeks insanely young Ivy League writers of Northern European ethnicity, unless we need writers of a specific ethnicity for a project revolving around a specific ethnicity, in which case we’ll probably still hire ultra-young Ivy League Hanseatics anyways.



Lex Luther

I checked the contest entry site and nowhere does it talk about the 1000 applicant cut-off mark. Where is that info coming from?

Brace Washington

I look forward to this opportunity even if it’s just to see what the writing game is like. And you can say what you will, but I want this bread, but to quote Dave Chappelle, I’d rather be an affirmative action than that n***** is homeless. #nailedit

Wayne Martin

Your definition of diversity means that White males are excluded from the competition. That is flagrant discrimination and is probably against the law. The ACLU should be alerted to this discrimination and a class action lawsuit filed.


"If you commence use of the Materials in violation of this Release, and provided that I own the Materials and the Materials are original, novel, protectible and valuable, you agree to pay me as total compensation therefor such sum of money as we may subsequently agree upon in writing. If we have not attempted or are unable to agree upon the sum, and you commence the use of the Materials in violation of this Release, you will pay me, and I will accept as consideration for all rights of every kind in the Materials, the sum of Five Hundred Dollars ($500). If I do not agree that $500 is acceptable compensation for your use of the Materials, I will not submit the Materials hereunder. I acknowledge that I shall suffer no damages in excess of the foregoing from your use of the Materials or by reason of any other claim that I may assert with respect thereto, and in no event shall I be entitled to, nor shall I demand, any other compensation or any legal or equitable remedy, including but not limited to, injunctive relief."

This seems quite iffy? $500???


This is a unique opportunity for emerging writers who otherwise might not be heard and a brilliant business model for HBO. Also, Steve will be playing the "angry white guy" in this drama.

sheila merritt

HBO has enough money to cover all expenses for those selected. Obviously HBO intends to make money from selecting a great idea and developing it. It’s like having a great writing staff and not paying for it.

Wyatt Baron

As a white male, I did not see this as any form of affirmative action in place, dear readers. It says it is open, but it does not say restricted. It is the second paragraph I see as the most important one. And I am sure your work, if good enough, will get you hired.

Simon Jensen

I’m thinking of having a sex change made – would becoming a woman qualify me for the fellowship? I look forward to your answer as it will greatly impact my decision.
Kind regards,
Simon Jensen


Steve, shut the hell up.


the requirements reported are wrong, it is not just for women


Charlie, why do you keep coming back to this black website? Let somebody else in the library have a chance on the computer, you homeless bastard.


Alp Again! Tisk, tisk, you made a few assumptions that made you look like an ass! Homeless and needing money from a person of darker skin?That’s the true mark of a creative mind! Can’t wait to read what else you can imagine. Hooray folks, we got some real talent here! Actually, I’m an IT professional, who could careless about Hollywood! It’s the challenge that interested me! I write because I love it and have passion to create and it has been a dream to see those written characters come to life. If it happens it happens if it doesn’t who gives a rip! But I will say this " I wasn’t beaten because of a better writer, I was beaten by color of skin and if that’s the definition of winning you haven’t really won anything at all!" Also note: I’m a member for hero’s for the homeless. We give bags and supplies to the homeless community if anyone is interested in ever attending or contributing please visit their facebook page! I don’t really respect people who make jokes about being homeless. Peace


Eight whole participants added to HBO’s pool of writers? Woo-hoo, we gon’ change this industry yet. Oh, @VC, of course not.


@Steve Well believe it or not, it’s actually HARDER for a non-white, non-female, non-straight person to make it in this industry, let alone the world regardless of talent or intelligence. That’s why we have things like this or else people like that would never be recognized ever.


so this is only for writers in the US?

ALP again

Aw, Belle, don’t worry about ole Charlie, there. He seems to be one of those white dudes who hasn’t made it big in Hollywood yet and hates these "diversity" events because he still can’t find his white way in. Most likely he’s one of those white burn-outs you see on the street asking black people for money (because they know better not to ask their own unsympathetic white folks.) HA– The joke’s on Charlie: that "diversity" gag is just that, a way for HBO to harvest great ideas from desperate wanna-be writers the world over, regardless of color. Pass.


If talent didn’t matter there would be no need for a writing sample. You could just submit a photo and they could choose the most photogenic.

This is probably the first time I’ve seen LGBT people and white dudes linked in having the same struggle. It should be the talent that matters, so I guess when reports come out from both the WGA and DGA showing white guys for days as the most employed you just think, of course because they’re the only ones with talent and hustle. There couldn’t possibly been any other factors at play. Okie dokie then.


this sounded like fun, till I discovered I’m white. Damn the luck of being a Caucasoid, who knew that skin color defined opportunity? I wish I would have known about this sooner, I am suddenly like the fat kid, with his face against glass at the local candy store. The skinny kids eat good and full! The old hag behind the counter just glares at me! Sorry about the river of saliva running down the windowpane! Sorry I’m white, but hey, good luck to all those diverse talented writers! May you be successful and come to know glory and fame! Peace out

woman or an enthnicity

lol poor steve, he is right, hbo should include bitter and sad white males in these competitions they r a minority 2


It sucks that you need to be 21+ for this opportunity. I was going to apply after receiving the email off my university lecturer, but I guess I can’t now :(


Steve, what’s your definition of diversity then? I agree that there must be talent, but did you happen to catch the Oscars this year?!?!


Quit your whining Steve, the world is your oyster…you get presumption wherever you go. If you don’t understand what that means, perhaps you should humble yourself, listen, look around and THINK about whose stories get told most frequently.


There’s quite a bit of questionable material in the guidelines (seen through the withoutabox link):

What is the definition of diversity?
For the purposes of the HBOACCESS program, diversity is defined as those who identify as any of the following: Asian Pacific, Sub-Continent Asian, African American, Hispanic, Native American, Middle Eastern, and/or women.

And this delightful little blurb:
If we have not attempted or are unable to agree upon the sum, and you commence the use of the Materials in violation of this Release, you will pay me, and I will accept as consideration for all rights of every kind in the Materials, the sum of Five Hundred Dollars ($500). If I do not agree that $500 is acceptable compensation for your use of the Materials, I will not submit the Materials hereunder. I acknowledge that I shall suffer no damages in excess of the foregoing from your use of the Materials or by reason of any other claim that I may assert with respect thereto, and in no event shall I be entitled to, nor shall I demand, any other compensation or any legal or equitable remedy, including but not limited to, injunctive relief.


Boo Hoo. We’re coming after your daughters next


This is the definition of racism and sexism. HBO is clearly saying, "No White Males Allowed"


VC great question and to your point Steve there are a lot of talented minorities and females that are very talented but aren’t connected to an industry that is saturated by white men plus HBO is a private company so they can DO what they want. In this instance they WANT to target minorities. You don’t like it start your own company. SIMPLE!

Annoyed and Annoyed

I don’t know where you get off, Steve, but I’m thinking you may want to adjust your worldview. "Diverse and emerging writers". That means new, refreshing writers from a variety of backgrounds. Stop making it about gender/race when it doesn’t have to be. Asshole.


The main issue with schemes like this is this type of diversity still results in another surge of applicants from privileged backgrounds. These types of internships fail to take into consideration class. There’s plenty of talented individuals who feel like this whole industry is closed to them. If you want a truly diverse creative team you need make the industry more inclusive to all races, genders and socio-economic backgrounds. Things like this are a good start but they’re ultimately just paying lip service to a much larger issue.

Kevin Messinger

Steve calm down you’re wrong


Talented white males need not apply….


Did anyone here read the release form? It’s very aggressive They can "violate" their own agreement and use your material–and only pay you $500. It’s exploitive.


If talent didn’t matter there would be no need for a writing sample. You could just submit a photo and they could choose the most photogenic.

This is probably the first time I’ve seen LGBT people and white dudes linked in having the same struggle. It should be the talent that matters, so I guess when reports come out from both the WGA and DGA showing white guys for days as the most employed you just think, of course because they’re the only ones with talent and hustle. There couldn’t possibly been any other factors at play. Okie dokie then.


You know what would be really diverse? Writers over the age of 40.

Rosetta Sims

I have a script which is a true story that needs to be told similar but more detailed than the show wire #Professionals Not 2 Be Trusted

Edward Neville

I don’t know. I’m a 57-year-old Black male. Maybe that’ll give me an arthritic leg up. I’ve got nothing to lose. I’ve got 2 great scripts.


It’s not that it’s easy for white men to break into Hollywood, it’s that their voices and stories are already over represented there. If it was so easy for women or people of color to break into screenwriting, HBO wouldn’t be trying to recruit them, because there would be plenty around to hire.

Virginia Martinez

It sounds exciting to be a part of the fellowship of the pen.


If anything, diversity in hollywood should be dictated by your economic class, not your skin color. No one cares about seeing stories about rich non-white people either. Most of my "diverse" friends have the same background as my white friends – well off and educated. Most people who try to make it in this town are that, or they wouldn’t feel they could take the chance. THAT is where they need to seek out talent.

HBO could easily be producing work from diverse people on their network or on HBO Go, and they do not, almost ever. Not because they can’t, not because there isn’t plenty of talent trying to do it with or for them, but because they choose not to. They choose white people shows, almost all the time. This isn’t going to make up for that.


Dear CIS White Male,
Privilege is a terrible thing when it doesn’t work in your favor, isn’t it? Yeah, as a black, queer woman I know that feeling. Sorrs.

Dear HBO,
Yes. Yes, to all of this.

Fredrick Williams

Im a author and if hbo was to give me the chance I would make the best of it… my book Thugs Do Cry speaks for itself


Yes, cuz its SOOOO friggin easy for white males to break into showbiz


Too white to participate. I’m gonna consider all this bullshit when I hire. Young white people need a break.


Why did they feel the need to specify females are welcome? Da fuq dat mean yo?! #sexism ugh

Jennie B

This would be a great opportunity and a wonderful experience. Hardest part would be paying to get there and stay there too.


Steve, you don’t get it. I am a black female producer who just graduated with an MFA in producing. In film school it is drilled into us that to get funding for your film you need projects that feature white male actors, because films that feature woman or people of color don’t make money. But I guess you didn’t get the recent news flash that UCLA just did a study that actually proved that belief to be antiquated and no longer true. If it were ever really true. It showed that films that featured diverse casts actually made the most money in every demographic. Thus the call for diverse writers and filmmakers to write these stories. In case you didn’t know it , the reason why most of the writers in Hollywood were mostly white men wasn’t because they were more talent as you are eluding to but because hollywood hired writers that knew the white male point of view best. Because that is what they wanted to sell. The Market is changing and so they need experts on what the new product is. Too bad if you can not write stories that reflect the new demographic make up of America,


Steve is exactly why these programs exist. You are so ignorant.

Erick Kwan



Actually Steve, LGBT is considered diverse as well. I have attended the diversity presentations and there is always a representative of that group. #hatethegame


"Diverse AND female"? I assumed ‘diverse’ included people of both sexes. But since you put it that way I have a real worry that you define "diverse" as ‘non-white’.


Your use of the word "diverse" as a limiting word and a euphemism is contrary to its definition and is disturbing to me.

I hold two citizenships and speak three languages very well. My parents came to North America with nothing just three years before I was born, and I lived in desperate conditions for the first six years of my life. My parents got their ESL done, worked hard, studied to regain their degrees here, but were told in various ways that they could not, despite meeting all requirements.

I have been steeped in the culture of my second citizenship, and only began speaking English in school. For this, my funny surname, and methods of dress, I was harshly bullied. Even now, when I reveal my nationality, I am regarded as a poor individual who is relegated to manual labour and not taken seriously for mental ability, despite being identified as a gifted student.

And you, HBO, have the gaul to say that the definition of "diversity" doesn’t include me, that my culture and people are lesser and not worthy of being included in the very definition of diversity, in effect, the human race.

You use this hate crime to fill quotas and generate positive publicity for your supposed diversity, but I am hoping that people can see through this, that this method of exclusion and bigotry is not the answer.


Steve, thank God you have some sense. Hollywood is a nearly impenetrable labyrinth, no matter what color or gender you happen to be.


This is not about equality. This is about equity. Steve, please take the time to learn more about justice. Affirmative-action is there for a reason and it’s to create a more equal footing among all populations.

If you want one example, take a look at the Oscars. Historically, how many nominations have been for people of color? How about men of color? And then women of color?

Basically, I don’t agree with what you’re saying here because I feel like it’s making false equivalences between (cis) white men and women of color.


You’re not sorry, Steve, you’re mad. A bit bitter, too. And that’s okay.


Yea diversity! As a white man who’s worked in TV since 1983 I welcome more non-white men… I’m bored to tears with white male storytelling, particularly when said story tellers have a vested interest in the status quo… I will say it takes considerable imagination for any white guy to see himself as a victim!

Missy Kirtley

Wait, since when are women considered "diverse"? I figured since I’m a white woman, I’m out of this particular contest. But does my uterus make me "diverse"? Hey, maybe I SHOULD apply.

Carol McCain

Buy a dictionary and look up the word diverse, they didn’t say Diversity they said diverse… which covers anyone with a different point of view or perspective. I see that VC and Steve are just looking for a reason to rant about race… which wasn’t mentioned once. If a white male writer has a new take on something I’m sure he’d fit into the category of diverse. People with limited talent often tend to blame others for their misfortune.


Obenson didn’t define diversity, and he didn’t say "WE NEED MINORITY WRITERS, STAT!" Diverse can be anything. Even if everyone who applied for this was male and white, there’d still be diversity.

Elizabeth ONeal

The program appears to be a great opportunity —at first glance. After reading the details of the application process I was dissapointed, and surprised such a media giant would make such a grandiose mistake! How many 21 year old females with diverse backgrounds are able to finance travel and lodging for a week in L.A.on a hope and prayer? A handful perhaps could afford the opportunity, but not many. Bless your HBO hearts. Remove the financial barrier if the network is committed to recruiting diverse talent. my recommendation is not just the right thing to do, it is the smart thing to do. Make the fellowship accessible to the diverse rock-stars the network wants!


Wouldn’t it be great to submit a sample of writing and have it evaluated by a "blind" committee which did not have access to anything more than a number that coordinated to a name known only by one person? Now, that’s how true talent can be identified.


Don’t be sorry, just stop whining you big white baby man.

jacqueline duncan

Really! You don’t want to many people to participate cause you are only giving a week notice. Most programs give people a 6 week notice.


White males have ruled the world in the past. Until you have been left out of the circle you have no idea what it means to be systemacticaly shut out. Women, LGBT and folks of color have not had the same opportunities and that is a fact. This is not an idea or a concept! It’s real. And for the white male writer who has been denied an opportunity it is either about timing or lack of talent.


This is a step in the right direction. But the Master Class is essentially like an unpaid internship. Not providing money for transportation and lodging locks out most aspiring writers who are not born with money. If HBO truly wants to widen the pool of talent, really widen it, they should go all the way.

Jennifer Quintynr

really bites that this struggling writer is Canadian but has a ton of story ideas that world rock HBO’s world.

Harv Marv

Well Steve.. Everyone knows that white males have it the easiest. I like things like this. It helps things to become equal. As a white male writer, I do know that black people were property when we were writers. Sorry asshole, they need to catch up. White privilege is real.


Does a 1/4 asian – italian person who gets confused for a Mexican to the point where people just assume he doesn’t speak English count as diverse?

Serious question…not being a wise guy.


A vast majority of HBO’s current programming is written and directed by white men, most of whom are straight. Wow, so terrible when HBO tries to create a fellowship as a means of diversification. It’s hard for anyone to break into Hollywood, but out of all the people trying, white dudes seem to have the easiest time. So chill out. You’re pissed that a fellowship doesn’t apply to you? Find another one. Trust me when I tell you there are PLENTY out there for you.


Shoutout to Illya Szilak for quoting the Terms & Conditions. Seems shady.


Yo Steve.. You need to check your privilege. It’s 10000% easier as a white male to do basically anything in this country. Google it + educate yourself. Your comment is embarrassing.

@VC Good question….


people like Steve are the reason programs like this exist. "so can’t a lot of white males, LGBT people…" You do know LGBT is considered diverse right? The reason no one feels sorry for the white people who cant make it or dont make it into Hollywood is because 95% of everyone who does make it in Hollywood is WHITE. How is helping diversify an industry where the participants STILL have to prove themselves "affirmative action leaning"? I guess we should be doing more for the poor oppressed white male writer though. I mean the writers room I work in only has 9 white male writers out of 14. That’s a travesty! Why is it not 14?!


Steve – so speaketh the eternally entitled. If you can’t see that what "white males" have had unfair advantaged (for ever) based on the gender and color of skin then you’re either stupid och wilfully blind.


And where’s that legalese/blurb again about how HBO retains all creative, content and ancillary rights to material developed in their 8-month fellowship while the writer gets paid a salary equivalent to that of an entry-level job out of college?


I’m team STEVE

john gale

great oppertunity


I’m 58, gray, white, male, and a poet. And from working class. Oh well.

J Dilla

Oh god, please dry your white tears Steve. It’s a known FACT that women and minorities don’t get the same respect as white men in Hollywood. And FYI diversity includes people in the LGBT community. #ifyoudontknownowyouknowwhitey


Writers please do not make this about race, just dig deep inside your creativity.. and write….


I think some of the other comments miss the definition of "diverse". It’s clear they want people from all walks of life. Just be over 21.

Obi nwizu

Oh, hush up. As though the masses aren’t tired of the massive amount of redundant content written by white males. Have a seat and get over it.


Listen…whites are gona do now what they did when we were all applying for scholarships and internships earkmarked for "minorities". They will dig up their long lost grandmother who was from Spain which technically makes them a latino. Or find out about that great grand dad who might have been part Cherokee.They’d hide this info otherwise but in situation where it might benefit them, they will use it. Not making this up Raekwon said I seen it like Zenith


I’m laughing so hard at Steve’s apparent conviction that every mediocre white man who’s made it in Hollywood got there based on talent.


Oh, I just realized white people can’t apply. Well, nothing gained, nothing lost, except my subscription to HBO. My definition of diversity includes a few white people, not all, but a few. Do poor white people count towards diversity?


I’m glad that opportunities like this exist to facilitate stories that might not otherwise be heard for whatever reason! I think the process for selection is doable and consistent with appealing to emerging markets.

Illya Szilak

Read the terms. They are onerous and insulting. Seems HBO can take your ideas for $500 dollars. I think they deserve a public shaming for taking advantage of writers this way. TERMS AND CONDITIONS I am submitting to you today an original short story, play or script and a personal essay (the "Materials"). I request that you examine the Materials in connection with reviewing my application to participate in the 2015 HBO Access Writing Fellowship Program (the “Program”). You are under no obligation to review the Materials, but if you do choose to review them, I understand that you are doing so in reliance on this Release and my agreement to its terms and that it is not revocable. I agree that you are under no obligation to compensate me for any Materials (i) that I do not own or control; (ii) in which you have no interest; (iii) that are not novel, unique, or protectible under United States law; (iv) that are in the public domain or publicly known or available prior to the date of the submission by me of such Materials; (iv) that are in your possession or available to you from another source prior to or after the submission by me of the Materials; or (v) that become part of the public domain or publicly known or available by publication or otherwise subsequent to the submission by me of the Materials. I also understand that the Materials may reference ideas, themes, subjects, or issues that are incorporated or dealt with in a project already under consideration, in development, or in production at HBO. In that case, I agree that you are not obligated to compensate me in any way unless you use verbatim, in the final version of the project and in violation of this Release, some or all of the Materials that are owned and controlled by me, and only to the extent the Materials are protectible. I agree that nothing in this Release shall be deemed to create a confidential relationship between you and me or shall place you in a position different from that of a member of the general public with respect to the use of the Materials. If you commence use of the Materials in violation of this Release, and provided that I own the Materials and the Materials are original, novel, protectible and valuable, you agree to pay me as total compensation therefor such sum of money as we may subsequently agree upon in writing. If we have not attempted or are unable to agree upon the sum, and you commence the use of the Materials in violation of this Release, you will pay me, and I will accept as consideration for all rights of every kind in the Materials, the sum of Five Hundred Dollars ($500). If I do not agree that $500 is acceptable compensation for your use of the Materials, I will not submit the Materials hereunder. I acknowledge that I shall suffer no damages in excess of the foregoing from your use of the Materials or by reason of any other claim that I may assert with respect thereto, and in no event shall I be entitled to, nor shall I demand, any other compensation or any legal or equitable remedy, including but not limited to, injunctive relief. I have retained a copy of the Materials, and you need not return the attached materials to me. If I own the Materials and you ask me to develop the Materials, or if you make me an offer to purchase the Materials, and we do not come to an agreement, your making such a request or offer will not be deemed to mean that you thought the Materials were original, protectible, or novel or that you thought I was the first person to submit them to you. If you decide not to accept me for the Program, you do not have to tell me the reasons for your rejection. If I am selected to participate in the Program, the terms of this Release shall also apply to any additional material that I submit during the course of or in connection with the Program. I represent and warrant that I have the right to submit the Materials to you upon the terms and conditions of this Release. I retain all rights to submit the Materials or any similar materials to persons other than you. The words "you" or "your" in this release refer to Home Box Office, Inc. and its officers, agents, employees, affiliated companies, partners, licensees, successors and assigns. This Release is binding on all of my successors, heirs, and assigns. I HAVE READ THIS RELEASE CAREFULLY AND I UNDERSTAND ITS CONTENTS. No representations have been made to me other than those set forth in this Release and this Release states our entire understanding with reference to the Materials. This Release shall be governed and construed under the laws of the State of New York. Should any part of this Release be declared void, the remainder shall remain in full force and effect and at all times this Release shall be construed so as to carry out its intent.

© Copyright 2000 – 2014 Withoutabox, a DB


Steve, you’re probably a white male.


I see that Stormfront must have posted the link on their message boards with all these knuckleheads posting ignorant comments on here. To what end I don’t know. SMH.


Stop these affirmative action leaning contests? Do you know how many talented minorities there are who have not had an opportunity to make it to Hollywood? The purpose of these contests is to give those talented people an opportunity that they wouldn’t typically get. There are not a lot of minorities in Hollywood and the few that are there are in the same movies & shows.


This is blatant racism against white males. HBO should be better then that. VC, they are not even giving while males a chance here. This is an awesome opportunity and its being denied to a certain segment of society…RACSIM.


Hey, Steve, the fact that you don’t recognize white male privilege as a real thing reinforces why we must bring up literally every other demographic.

Sylvia Sylver


tasha Biltmore

Ready to share my Original Story that is bigger than me

grace lethunya

colorbar nor sex doen’t matter what matters is what you have


Steve, the reason this is open to minorities and women is because the writing world is dominated by a huge margin by white males. White men have a ton of opportunities in screen writing already, and this is an attempt to bridge the gap. Are you kidding me about "if you’re a woman or an ethnicity [you] can’t get into Hollywood?" Do you live in Bizarro World? Grow up.


I’m not clear on the wording of this part: The HBOAccess Writing Fellowship is open to diverse and female writers 21 and older
Does that mean only female applicants will be considered or is that an editing oversight?


STEVE, I think it’s about perspective as much as it’s a talent. No matter how much talent you have, the stories from one culture would be monotonous. Storytelling is not math. White males are not monopolizing because they’re "so" talented at it.

Sabrina V.

Bullshit, Steve. Apparently Hollywood is run by all manner of genders, ethnicities, etc. I don’t know what planet you live on but haven’t you heard of the studio status quo STILL = white males??


Really cool diversity story there bro. You really couldn’t think of any other attribute than "diversity"? Because I see none of it here HBO. You’re just being shi**y and exclusive.

ALpha Q



What do people care if HBO helps someone "diverse" get an opportunity? Spread love and be happy that someone is being kind to someone else… how can you have a diverse piece of art without diverse artists…


Let the complaining from angry straight white men start in 5, 4,…I’m too late, they’ve already started.

K Wms

Steve get over yourself. Now u c how one feels when they are more than qualified but is blatantly ignore because they ARENT WHITE. Are u afraid of strong competition?

Rosita Cooper

This is great. I start shooting my movie in April but have others I can submit. I’m excited about this.


Steve, you forgot to add #whiteprivelege.

Read an article outside of your comfort zone.


Sorry but I find it quite laughable how most of your talk as if this program is something new. It’s not. It’s been around for some years now.


Steve, boo diversity can mean white males and even LGBT too. It didn’t state anything to do with race or women. Also LGBT people can be women and also they can be of different ethnic groups.


Diversity or not this sounds great.


Hey Steve, you’re an idiot… Seriously


To steve you might want to read the requirements again. It states diverse and women 21+. It in no way omitted white males. Read it again.


Thank you Hbo for creating this awesome opportunity. There are so few opportunities available outside of the privileged few who seem to continually be given the golden treatment.


It’s not about giving people with no talent an opportunity.The program is striving to support individuals and groups who are usually discouraged from pursuing these fields a chance to be supported.


When I read the name of this development, I never once thought diversity meaning race. I have ADHD and I was thinking that it would be great to be recognized for something that I wrote, being that I am different. Why does it always go back to that? Being diverse is much more than race. Should I be offended? I am also a woman… I never thought about that one either. It is getting out of control.

karl m

well steve, that is white privilege


Sounds like an awesome opportunity.


STEVE. Way to look out for all the white males out there.


STEVE. You are a tool.


Classic STEVE…

LaDarrion Williams

Well most filmmakers and writers in Hollywood are white and male. Some of that group are a part of the LGBT people. You don’t find much Diverse television writers of high caliber shows.


Man, oh, man. It must really suck being judged according to the color of your skin or your gender.


Do white male writers have a chance to win this competition as well?


Steve, your privilege is showing. Tuck it back in. How’s that script coming along?

kid video

"Submissions must be original 1/2 hour or 1 hour teleplay, screenplay or play. No short stories, novels, graphic novels, or blogs will be accepted. No spec material will be accepted".

I take it they want you to write a script from a popular sitcom/drama.


Why are you so obsessed with the two or three POC that get jobs and not the system that all but insures only two or three can? You act like writer’s room are just packed with everything except white males. Scandal and Empire don’t even have majority POC writer’s rooms. Can we live? Damn.


I’m all for diversity, however I’m for diversity of EXPERIENCE (especially in such a creative position).
Skin color and genitalia are part of the equation but not the be-all and end-all.

Ultimately, I feel they should rephrase it to cast a more general “diversity net” without specific criteria. That way, they can include other “minorities” who have been excluded (e.g. LGBT, disabled, veterans, social status, etc.).


OR maybe they want to produce more ethnically diverse stories and figured a good way to do that would be to do find some ethnically diverse writers. I’m just spitballing here, though, don’t mind me.


"For the purposes of the HBOACCESS program, diversity is defined as those who identify as any of the following: Asian Pacific American, Sub-Continent Asian American, African American, Hispanic American, Native American, Middle Eastern, and/or women."

Why not LGBT writers?


People need to stop complaining about diversity and get a life


oh yeah cause white male writers can just email scripts to hbo execs, we have it soo much easier. these diversity programs are bullshit. we’re all unknown and at the bottom.

Kid video

Even if this is nothing more than a cattle call for colored folk/women,8 people will get a chance to make a film that they don’t have to pay for and get some attention from TV producers. I’m all for it.


Steve, you’re not sorry. You just think you’re right. Go do one of the thousand contests that will take you precisely because you’re a white guy. Can’t have everything? GET USED TO IT. The rest of us have. You know, the people who weren’t born with your privilege.


Does the writing sample have to be a script? If so, how many pages? If not, can it be a blog article?

Germar Derron

Sorry STEVE that you don’t seem to get things. You’re right it should be your talent, but that’s not how it works. White dude Michael hires his white dude childhood friend, who often is not as talented as nobody black Jamal from nowhere. If it were about talent, we wouldn’t need these "contests," but it’s never been about talent.


@MCM stop imagining boogeymen where there are none. "unconscionable"? please give it a rest.
@Steve, why don’t you make like a leaf and get out of here.


@ STEVE — I don’t think you grasp the concept of diversity. This isn’t a situation where HBO is firing white, male writers and replacing them with diverse ones; they’re simply making available 8 spots in a program aimed at staffing writers who will add depth to many stories by virtue of their diversity. Despite what you think, talent isn’t the sole attribute (or even a factor at all) that affords people opportunities to acquire writing jobs. Many times, it’s who you know, and I’ll let you guess what the ethnic makeup (or lack thereof) of Hollywood happens to be…


I think that the success of Chris Rock and Dave Chappelle, for example, is why it makes sense to broaden the pool of tv/film writers. When Rock( and Damon Wayans) were on SNL….the writers there couldn’t write anything to showcase their talents. Dave Chapelle famously siad he shot over 20 tv pilots that never went ANYWHERE.Once these guys wrote their own material or got with writers who understood their backgrounds…they all took off and became stars. Had Paul Mooney not written most of the skits for Pryor’s SNL appearance including the Chevy Chase Richard Pryor word association skit…it would have been a forgettable show.And we’re just talking about comedy writing. It just makes sense to find and develop talented writers from wider perspectives. as it stands now….most of the writers are from the same 6-7 colleges, same 2-3 majors, and the same parts of the country.same backgrounds..same influences….same writing.

J d c

I think you all are mistaken. All it says is they are looking for a "diverse" group. It says nothing about specific ethnicities. Meaning the group will consist of writers from DIFFERENT backgrounds. They are not EXCLUDING anyone rather INCLUDING everyone. I wish people would stop pulling the race card to compensate for their own inadequacies.


I find it unconscionable to exclude LGBT writers when every other network and studio with a diversity program is wise and thoughtful enough to be progressive and inclusive. Your homophobia and narrow-mindedness are noted.

Really Rashida

This is an amazing opportunity! I will definitely take advantage of this and apply!


This is amazing news. Fantastic!


Do they consider physically disabled writers, but still white, diverse? Or must a writer have skin tone in the right shades, even if they have palsey or are in a wheel chair?


Oh Steve! Don’t be naive. Moreover, don’t be stupid. Hollywood writing rooms are 90% white male. You really think it’s only "talent that matters" is why that exists? Yes there are white male writers who can’t get into Hollywood, but they are not systematically or historically locked out as a group. If they were, then 90% of jobs wouldn’t go to exclusively them. So, if you think there isn’t a need for programs to introduce opportunities to minority voices to break the cycle and the institutionalized opportunities and status quo, then I’m glad you can’t apply for this because you don’t deserve an opportunity to tell stories. Writers are supposed to be enlightened creatures, not ignorant, for it is us who enlighten the world.


This is wonderful news. I hope to apply and as we saw at the Oscars, we need diversity in the media.


What time on March 4th does the application process open?


I’m sorry, I don’t agree with their definition of diversity. Stop these affirmative-action leaning contests. It should be your talent that matters, not the color of your skin or your gender. Too bad if you’re a woman or an ethnicity who can’t get into Hollywood. So can’t a lot of white males, LGBT people, etc.

Gary Rodriguez



Do you think HBO makes "White male writers" jump through these same hoops?

kid video

I need to type up a spec script ASAP.


how to can inpire in living lon make it


wcase their talents. Dave Chapelle famously siad he sshot over s20 tv pilsots thsat never went ANYWHERE.Once these guys wrote their own material or got with writers who understood their backgrounds…they all took off and became stars. Had Pdaul Mo

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