05 The Missing Women From Women in Early TV for the American Women Writers National Museum [Video]

05 The Missing Women From Women in Early TV for the American Women Writers National Museum [Video]

Many thanks to Janice Law of the American Women Writers National Museum who invited me to give a short talk on The Women of Early TV.

I enjoyed sharing the names and careers of women like Peg Lynch, Gerturde Berg, Selma Diamond and D.C. Fontana to the members who gathered on Zoom last Wednesday morning. There are so many more I could have talked about whose names don’t appear in mainstream books about the history of television so we have to learn who they are and carry those names forward ourselves.  It’s one of the missions of the Stephens College MFA in TV and Screenwriting – and has been one of my missions all my life.

RMW Rosanne Signature for Web

Transcript:

…and here’s the problem. See all these men that we’re seeing in the pictures. All these men are who are remembered for writing for Sid Caesar. You’ve got Carl Reiner. You’ve got Woody Allen. You’ve got Larry Gelbart, who’s going to go on to do M*A*SH for us. These men are icons of comedy. When they came together to be recognized both Lucille and Selma had passed away. So when it was time to take this photograph, this is what people will remember about the writers of these classic iconic early comedies. They will not remember that women were on board for those things. The other sad thing to realize is this is still the visual of what a writing staff looks like on a late-night comedy show. When Stephen Colbert’s show won the Emmy a few years ago, there’s one female writer among the 13 male writers on that show. It is an issue that is still with us today in television. So we have to think about it, but sadly because this is such a great photograph, people will forget way down here it says not pictured the two ladies who didn’t happen to be able to be there that day.

Many thanks to Janice Law of the American Women Writers National Museum who invited me to give a short talk on The Women of Early TV.

I enjoyed sharing the names and careers of women like Peg Lynch, Gerturde Berg, Selma Diamond and D.C. Fontana to the members who gathered on Zoom last Wednesday morning. There are so many more I could have talked about whose names don’t appear in mainstream books about the history of television so we have to learn who they are and carry those names forward ourselves. It’s one of the missions of the Stephens College MFA in TV and Screenwriting – and has been one of my missions all my life.

Watch this entire presentation

 

Women pioneers who created, produced or shepherded many of America’s most wildly popular, early television programs will be profiled by Dr. Rosanne Welch.

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