Features

No More All-Male Writing Rooms for ITV Comedy

ITV’s head of comedy and founder of Comedy 50:50 Saskia Schuster has announced she is not commissioning any show that has an all-male writing team, and don’t think you can get away with just one “token woman”, because that’s not allowed either. “I won’t commission anything with an all-male writing team.”

Schuster made this decision in reaction to an audit of her shows which revealed: “an awful lot” of all-male teams and a “significant lack” of women in scripted commissions. For every five scripts the head of comedy receives from men, one is sent from a woman.

Speaking at the Diverse Festival on a panel discussing ‘Why employing more women writers in comedy matters’ Schuster said: “Too often the writing room is not sensitively run. It can be aggressive and slightly bullying…”

This is more than just an equality drive, it’s about bringing fresh material to shows, writer Brona C Titley said: “If you have the same type of writers in terms of race or sexual orientation or gender, then you’re only getting one kind of joke.”

Are you a woman or woman-identified comedy writer? There is still time to enter our 2019 Funny Women Writing Awards! The deadline is 31st July. For more information click here!