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Busy Philipps Says TV Exec Shot Down Bid at Directing: ‘Never Going to Happen’

"Any dude who's spent 10 minutes on a television show manages to parlay their career into directing."

Busy Philipps at the Girls5Eva Season 2 Premiere at The Roxy Hotel in New York City.

Busy Philipps


“Girls5Eva” star Busy Philipps is opening up about a disheartening experience she had when she pursued directing a TV series.

Philipps, who rose to fame on “Dawson’s Creek,” directed one episode of TBS’ “Cougar Town,” which she also starred in opposite Courteney Cox. An unnamed friend then recommended Philipps to direct a “major studio” series.

However, the “Freaks and Geeks” alum recalled a TV executive from a “major network” telling her that she would never direct the tentpole show.

“I was just told like, ‘No, it’s just not going to happen. The studio won’t approve it, the network won’t approve it. It’s not going to happen,'” Philipps told Insider. “Meanwhile, obviously any dude who’s spent 10 minutes on a television show manages to parlay their career into directing.”

The sexist double standard for both below- and above-the-line work has “hopefully shifted” since the #MeToo movement, Philipps added.

“But I remember having that meeting with the executive and being really disheartened by his response,” she continued, citing that there was “no room” for her to make a case for herself in the meeting.

Philipps continued, “People forget that it was just a few years ago that an industry was just operating in a specific way and treating women and people of color in our industry in a way that is unacceptable, and that real changes needed to be made.”

Meanwhile, Philipps reprises her role in Season 2 of the Peacock comedy “Girls5Eva,” returning May 5 with the first three episodes.

When asked on The Daily Beast’s “The Last Laugh” podcast last year if Hollywood has drastically changed since #MeToo, Philipps said, “I think at this point, I’m not at risk. I’m an almost 42-year-old woman who wrote a book where I named names of the people who were fucking dicks to me. So I don’t think that I’m the person to ask about whether the industry has changed. Because I would assume that people are going to be smart enough to not fuck with me.”

Philipps previously opened up about James Franco physically assaulting her on the set of “Freaks and Geeks.”

She added, “But also I’m not an ingenue coming onto the scene, or a young woman coming onto the scene wanting to work and make it happen. The predators, I’m sure, still exist, and a few of the big ones have been rooted out, thank god, but whether there’s a reckoning, I don’t know.”

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