ITV announces new initiative to help female comedy writers.
The initiative seeks to put measures in place to address the gender imbalance in comedy on television.
ITV’s Controller of Comedy Saskia Schuster hosted the launch event supported by the RTS, The Writers' Guild, Era 50:50, Funny Women and BAFTA on 18th October.
Producers, writers and agents were able to network at the event, with each producer hosting introductory meetings with female writers.
Schuster spoke of her plans to expand ITV’s Social Partnership agreement to increase the number of female writers in comedy teams on ITV productions, to create an independent database of female comedy writers which can be accessed for free, to set up mentorships and regular targeted networking for writers and producers.
Saskia Schuster said, "A few months ago a disgruntled female writer crossly pointed out to me that commissioners have the privileged opportunity to create change. She was right. And a bit scary.
"This is the start of that change, not with the ambition of meeting targets or quotas, but of changing our comedy culture. We can’t be making the best shows possible for our audiences if our shows aren’t inclusive or representative of the gender diversity of our viewers.”