Women in media (and beyond) publicly rebuked the network for a blatantly biased lineup of new programs to be piloted next year in which eight men were at the forefront and exactly zero women.
Jane Kennedy first tweeted yesterday with a picture of the lineup and a sardonic quip about the volume of “clever funny men” who had the “opportunity to pilot their own shows.”
Oh Look!! How very exciting for all these men!!! And look! … There’s a lady in this picture with the remote control so she can watch all the clever funny men who have the opportunity to pilot their own shows @channelten @Colvick @theheraldsun @DailyMailUK @dailytelegraph pic.twitter.com/amzX7N9EJv
— Jane Kennedy (@Jane_L_Kennedy) July 22, 2018
Her post went viral, with other women in the industry adding their voice to the mix of disgruntlement. Meshel Laurie responded first, tweeting: ‘We’re so lucky we have so many funny men to laugh at.’
Jane replied: ‘Here’s the thing. I do have so many funny men in my life. And the guys in this photo (with the exception of Sam Dastyari) are all funny buggers. I am curious to know if any women were given the opportunity to propose a show? I’m also not counting “co-hosts” by the way.’
It’s a very fair point.
Speaking to the Herald Sun, Ten program chief Beverley McGarvey said: ‘The reaction’s probably not surprising but we are a bit disappointed.’
She defended Channel Ten’s decision in this case, saying the pilot lineup was not reflective of the network’s diversity of programs throughout the year.
‘We have so many shows on the schedule that are fronted by women and so many amazing female executive producers running our shows,’ she said.
That may be true (though we’re disinclined to count the Bachelorette in this equation) but in this case, Channel Ten has well and truly dropped the ball. For a struggling network, such a brazen mistake is costly. Not only were women left out of the mix of ‘pilot week’, the lineup–as pointed out by radio host Em Rusciano– was almost entirely “straight, white men.”
Aside from former disgraced Senator, Sam Dastyari not one of the men included was of a different cultural or ethnic background. They were all straight and no individuals with disabilities were included.
Australia is a diverse place. We have so many different backgrounds to celebrate– 50 percent of which, are female. Channel Ten missed the mark here in a big way, and if they double down on this decision it’ll likely cause them some prolonged grief.