Women


The Academy of Television Arts & Sciences Foundation Presents

02:26

Tabs

About

Interviewees discuss the portrayal of women on televison and women's roles within the television industry.

Highlights
Marlo Thomas on the advice she received from Lucille Ball regarding being a producer
Maria Elena Salinas on the challenges of being a female news anchor
Madelyn Pugh Davis on being one of the first female writers hired at CBS radio
Rose Marie on her Dick Van Dyke Show character "Sally Rogers"
Katie Couric on wanting a solo female anchor to be an accepted norm on television
Editor Janet Ashikaga on women in the editing field and on knowing particular editing systems
Who talked about this topic

Edie Adams

View Interview
Edie Adams on being an uncredited female writer/producer on her show Here's Edie
Edie Adams on advancements for women in television

Mary V. Ahern

View Interview
Mary V. Ahern on her experience as a female television producer in the 1950s
Mary V. Ahern on how opportunities for women in television have changed over the years

Alan Alda

View Interview
Alan Alda on Loretta Swit's contribution to making her M*A*S*H character three-dimensional.

Kay Alden

View Interview
Kay Alden on where storylines originate from on The Young and the Restless and the influence of academic debate on her writing
Kay Alden on social change and public awareness on The Young and the Restless

Janet Ashikaga

View Interview
Editor Janet Ashikaga on women in the editing field and on knowing particular editing systems
Editor Janet Ashikaga on women in the editing field and on knowing particular editing systems
Editor Janet Ashikaga on being a female editor

Alan Ball

View Interview
Alan Ball on feminism on Cybill

Anne Beatts

View Interview
Anne Beatts on late night television as an area that still hasn't fully accepted female writers

Linda Bell Blue

View Interview
Linda Bell Blue on sexism in the television industry

George Bodenheimer

View Interview
George Bodenheimer on the importance of female sports fans
George Bodenheimer on televising women's sports and ESPNW

Peter Bonerz

View Interview
Peter Bonerz on the Murphy Brown episode, "Uh, Oh, Part 2," and the criticism of Murphy's single motherhood by then U.S. Vice President Dan Quayle

Mili Lerner Bonsignori

View Interview
Mili Lerner Bonsignori on becoming one of four female editors in New York after World War II
Mili Lerner Bonsignori on meeting the other three female editors in New York
Mili Lerner Bonsignori on not being treated as an equal to the men on See It Now

James L. Brooks

View Interview
James L. Brooks on the feminist revolution and The Mary Tyler Moore Show

Vivian Brown

View Interview
Vivian Brown on being a female meteorologist 

Frances Buss Buch

View Interview
Frances Buss Buch on the press she got for being one of the first women directors at CBS

Carol Burnett

View Interview
Carol Burnett on how Lucille Ball changed when Ball and Desi Arnaz got divorced and the dynamic of females in Hollywood

Allan Burns

View Interview
Allan Burns on placing the main setting of The Mary Tyler Moore Show in a newsroom and "Mary Richards" not being a married woman
Allan Burns on The Mary Tyler Moore Show and the feminist movement
Allan Burns on The Mary Tyler Moore Show episode "Good Time News"

Marcy Carsey

View Interview
Marcy Carsey on the progression of her career at ABC and becoming head of series television

David Chase

View Interview
David Chase on the role of women characters on The Sopranos

Julia Child

View Interview
Julia Child on being a female chef

Connie Chung

View Interview
Connie Chung on becoming a news writer and an on-air reporter
Connie Chung on getting hired at CBS News
Connie Chung on being co-anchor of CBS Evening News with Dan Rather and women anchoring the news
Connie Chung on the double standard with on-camera older women and men
Connie Chung and Maury Povich on Chung as a trailblazer

Joan Ganz Cooney

View Interview
Joan Ganz Cooney on how the character of Susan on Sesame Street was problematic for NOW (National Organization for Women)
 Joan Ganz Cooney on the initial lack of female puppeteers on Sesame Street
Joan Ganz Cooney on being a woman in a male dominated business

Barbara Corday

View Interview
Barbara Corday on pitching Cagney & Lacey in 1974 and on being involved in the women's movement at the time
Barbara Corday on the premise of Cagney & Lacey and on dealing with women's issues on the show
Barbara Corday on the challenges of being a female executive in television
Barbara Corday on how the status of women in television has changed since she started

Katie Couric

View Interview
Katie Couric on wanting a solo female anchor to be an accepted norm on television
Katie Couric on feeling like most of the women at ABC News were in subservient positions
Katie Couric on what being a female journalist means to her
Katie Couric on becoming the first solo female news anchor
Katie Couric on why a solo female news anchor may not work for some people

Judith Crist

View Interview
Judith Crist on Al Morgan of Today being a big supporter of women
Judith Crist on why she left Today and feeling the decision to let her go was sexist
Judith Crist on getting to know women in television
Judith Crist on not encountering sexism in the television industry

Judy Crown

View Interview
Judy Crown on diversity in her field

Madelyn Pugh Davis

View Interview
Madelyn Pugh Davis on being one of the first female writers hired at CBS radio
Madelyn Pugh Davis on working on the "social page" as opposed to news in radio
Madelyn Pugh Davis (with Bob Carroll, Jr.) on the early treatment of female radio and television writers and producers
Bob Carroll, Jr. & Madelyn Pugh Davis on the treatment of female producers

James Day

View Interview
James Day on Frieda Hennock, the first female commissioner of the FCC

Sam Denoff

View Interview
Sam Denoff on That Girl's feminist message

Betty Cole Dukert

View Interview
Betty Cole Dukert on hard to anticipate questions from female journalists and balancing the panel of reporters on Meet the Press
Betty Cole Dukert on being a female producer and the male to female ratio of guests on Meet the Press

Dick Ebersol

View Interview
Dick Ebersol on Julia Louis-Dreyfus' time on Saturday Night Live

Barbara Eden

View Interview
Barbara Eden on criticism of  "Jeannie" on I Dream of Jeannie

Stephanie Edwards

View Interview
Stephanie Edwards on gender discrimination she see's in the business

Linda Ellerbee

View Interview
Linda Ellerbee on how things have changed for women in television news over the years

Ruth Engelhardt

View Interview
Ruth Engelhardt on her sister being an agent at William Morris, and on how she was treated as a woman in the industry

Diane English

View Interview
Diane English on the network's thoughts on having a 40 year old woman as the main character of Murphy Brown
Diane English on character "Murphy Brown" becoming a single mother and Dan Quayle's response

Jeannie Epper

View Interview
Jeannie Epper on her few close fellow stuntwomen and the passing of her brothers and sisters
Jeannie Epper on being one of the founding members of the Stuntwoman's Association of Motion Pictures
Jeannie Epper on the challenges that stuntwomen face that stuntmen don't
Jeannie Epper on the lack of women stunt coordinators

Edie Falco

View Interview
Edie Falco on her Nurse Jackie character, "Jackie Peyton," as an anti-hero, and the uniqueness of her being a female anti-hero
Edie Falco on how roles for women have changed since she started out in television and how she relates to her characters as a woman

Barbara Feldon

View Interview
Barbara Feldon on her Get Smart character, "99"
Barbara Feldon on hosting The '80s Woman which focused on women's issues

Julian Fellowes

View Interview
Julian Fellowes on the rape storyline on Downton Abbey

Dorothy Fontana

View Interview
Dorothy Fontana on the challenges of being a woman writer and using D.C. Fontana on her scripts so that she would be given a chance
Dorothy Fontana on "Uhura" and "Number One"- one of the first major female black characters, on Star Trek
Dorothy  Fontana on the Star Trek episode "Friday's Child", over which she argued with Gene Rodenberry about the portrayal of women; she had a different ending
Dorothy Fontana on writing for The Streets of San Francisco

Ron Friedman

View Interview
Ron Friedman on the groundbreaking female characters of G.I. Joe

Pamela Fryman

View Interview
Pamela Fryman on how the industry has changed since she started, and on women in the industry

Lesli Linka Glatter

View Interview
Lesli Linka Glatter on gender discrimination in her career, and discrimination and harassment in the television industry
Lesli Linka Glatter on how things have changed for women in the industry since she started

Sharon Gless

View Interview
Sharon Gless on not experiencing sexism as an actress in the 1970s
Sharon Gless on being more interested in the complicated character of "Christine Cagney" than being a "role model for the '80s"

Lee Grant

View Interview
Lee Grant on how opportunities for women in television have changed over the years

Florence Henderson

View Interview
Florence Henderson on working during her pregnancies

Winifred Hervey

View Interview
Winifred Hervey on getting accepted to the Warner Bros. Writing Workshop
Winifred Hervey on being the only female writer on The Cosby Show
Winifred Hervey on the writers' room of The Golden Girls
Winifred Hervey on her biggest challenge in the business - being female and a minority
Winifred Hervey on opportunities for women and minorities in writing

Felicity Huffman

View Interview
Felicity Huffman on her Desperate Housewives character, "Lynette Scavo's" struggle with balancing motherhood and work, and how it related to Huffman's own work-life balance
Felicity Huffman on how roles for women on television have changed since she started in the industry

Gwen Ifill

View Interview
Gwen Ifill on learning to be an assertive woman in college and how it applies to her career
Gwen Ifill on being the first female and first African-American to moderate Washington Week
Gwen Ifill on moderating a Palin/Biden Vice-presidential debate

Allison Janney

View Interview
Allison Janney on her West Wing character, "C.J. Cregg"

Lucy Jarvis

View Interview
Lucy Jarvis on the work environment for women in network news in the early 1960s
Lucy Jarvis on hiring women for The Nation's Future  and organizing a landmark class action suit against NBC for discrimination against its female employees
Lucy Jarvis on the impact of the organization Women in Film

Julie Ann Johnson

View Interview
Julie Ann Johnson on the challenges of being a female stunt person in the 1960s, and on founding the Stuntwoman's Association
Julie Ann Johnson on the changes she's trying to make in the stunt industry to improve safety, and also for minorities and women
Julie Ann Johnson on the then-current state of the stunt industry for stunt women and safety standards
Julie Ann Johnson on the course of action stunt women have if they feel discriminated against or harassed, and what she would like to see happen

Rocky Kalish

View Interview
Irma Kalish on the dearth of women in writer's rooms in any television show when they first began working in TV and how they helped change the dynamic
Irma Kalish on her status as a woman writer in the early days of television and the pressure to be "twice as good as a man" and how Rocky supported her career
Irma Kalish on how writing the All in the Family episode dealing with cancer helped her friend, and impacted her feeling about her profession

Irma Kalish

View Interview
Irma Kalish on her status as a woman writer in the early days of television and the pressure to be "twice as good as a man" and how Rocky supported her career
Irma Kalish on the dearth of women in writer's rooms in any television show when they first began working in TV and how they helped change the dynamic
Irma Kalish on how writing the All in the Family episode dealing with cancer helped her friend, and impacted her feeling about her profession

Lucille Kallen

View Interview
Lucille Kallen on being the only female in the writers room of Your Show of Shows

Marta Kauffman

View Interview
Marta Kauffman on the status of female writers on television when she started
Marta Kauffman on making sure the shows she produces are friendly for female staff members, and how things have changed for women in television

Elodie Keene

View Interview
Elodie Keene on advocating for more female directors on L.A. Law
Elodie Keene on how opportunities for women in the industry have changed since she started

H. Wesley Kenney

View Interview
H. Wesley Kenney on hiring a female camera operator

Michael Patrick King

View Interview
Michael Patrick King on the premise and final year of Murphy Brown
Michael Patrick King on Sex and the City empowering the individual

Kay Koplovitz

View Interview
Kay Koplovitz on being one of the few women executives in the cable industry in the 1970s
Kay Koplovitz on her proudest achievements

Rita Lakin

View Interview
Rita Lakin on the advent of the showrunner, and on being the first female showrunner on Flamingo Road
Rita Lakin on the television movie Torn Between Two Lovers, and on advancing the cause of more women television writers

Lucy Lawless

View Interview
Lucy Lawless on how television has changed for women and in general since she started acting

Vicki Lawrence

View Interview
Vicki Lawrence on the challenges for women in television

Norman Lear

View Interview
Norman Lear on the controversial abortion episode of Maude

Michael Learned

View Interview
Michael Learned on how things have changed for actresses since she started acting

Judith Light

View Interview
Judith Light on her Ugly Betty character "Claire Meade" and working with America Ferrera as "Betty Suarez"
Judith Light on the importance of Transparent

Margaret Loesch

View Interview
Margaret Loesch on the dearth of female executives in television when she first started
Margaret Loesch on her advice to female executives regarding the #metoo movement

Julia Louis-Dreyfus

View Interview
Julia Louis-Dreyfus on being the only woman on the set of Seinfeld
Julia Louis-Dreyfus on the atmosphere on the largely female set of The New Adventures of Old Christine

Nancy Malone

View Interview
Nancy Malone on the changes for women in the television industry and the Women in Film organization

Anita Mann

View Interview
Anita Mann on facing discrimination in the industry as a woman

Sonia Manzano

View Interview
Sonia Manzano on adding aspects of feminism to her character on Sesame Street

Rose Marie

View Interview
Rose Marie on her Dick Van Dyke Show character "Sally Rogers"

Garry Marshall

View Interview
Garry Marshall on the dearth of female comedy writers during The Dick Van Dyke Show era

Beth McCarthy-Miller

View Interview
Beth McCarthy-Miller on being a woman working on Saturday Night Live

S. Epatha Merkerson

View Interview
S. Epatha Merkerson on coming to Law & Order after it had been on for four seasons (two female characters were introduced the year she came on)
S. Epatha Merkerson on whether opportunities for black women on television have changed over the years

Tammy Faye Bakker Messner

View Interview
Tammy Faye Bakker-Messner on her experience as a woman in Christian television

Millie Moore

View Interview
Millie Moore on being one of the sole women in the A.C.E. when she joined
Millie Moore on women being more welcomed into the A.C.E. as editors, not just librarians, after the studio system began to crumble
Millie Moore on how women editors have progressed through the years

Priscilla Morgan

View Interview
Priscilla Morgan on being a female agent in the '50s

Michael Moye

View Interview
Michael Moye on hiring diverse writers

Anne Nelson

View Interview
Anne Nelson on becoming the first female executive at CBS, and the difficulties she encountered getting there
Anne Nelson on her style of negotiation, and on the challenges of being a female in business affairs in her era
Anne Nelson on being a female television executive

Sheila Nevins

View Interview
Sheila Nevins on being a woman in the entertainment business

Nichelle Nichols

View Interview
Nichelle Nichols describes her character "Uhura" on Star Trek; how the studio didn't want a black female character on the series; Gene Rodenberry defended it as "that's what America looks like"

Agnes Nixon

View Interview
Agnes Nixon on being one of the only women to write for the Golden Age anthology dramas

Bernie Orenstein

View Interview
Bernie Orenstein on the legacy of That Girl: representing feminism on television

Gail Parent

View Interview
Gail Parent on being the only female writer on a variety show when she was hired on The Carol Burnett Show
Gail Parent on how the business has changed for women since she started

Estelle Parsons

View Interview
Estelle Parsons on how she was treated as a woman on the Today set

Jane Pauley

View Interview
Jane Pauley on early critical reservations about her anchoring the local news on WMAQ in Chicago
Jane Pauley on dealing with her pregnancy and motherhood on air

Bill Persky

View Interview
Bill Persky on the legacy of That Girl and the birth of liberated women on TV

Maury Povich

View Interview
Maury Povich on co-anchoring news in Los Angeles with future wife Connie Chung; on her start at CBS
Connie Chung and Maury Povich on Chung as a trailblazer

Martha Quinn

View Interview
Martha Quinn on her experience of being a woman in the television industry

Charlotte Rae

View Interview
Charlotte Rae on how roles for women on television have changed over the years, and on how television has changed since she started

Marian Rees

View Interview
Marian Rees on producing "Tell Me Where it Hurts" for General Electric Theater  and her commitment to feminism 
Marian Rees on her involvement in Women in Film

Hank Rieger

View Interview
Hank Rieger on advice to someone wanting to go into Public Relations, and how it's a great career for women

Cokie Roberts

View Interview
Cokie Roberts on her move to New York, on facing discrimination as a female looking to be a broadcaster, and on becoming a foreign correspondent in Greece
Cokie Roberts on how opportunities for females have changed in the television news industry since she started

Doris Roberts

View Interview
Doris Roberts on the challenge of being an older woman in Hollywood and beyond

Meta Rosenberg

View Interview
Meta Rosenberg on advice to an aspiring television producer and succeeding in the industry as a woman

Barney Rosenzweig

View Interview
Barney Rosenzweig on giving Aaron Spelling criticisms of Charlie's Angels and wanting to incorporate the themes of the Women's Movement into the show
Barney Rosenzweig on the idea for Cagney & Lacey
Barney Rosenzweig on what Cagney & Lacey was about at its core
Barney Rosenzweig on the legacy of Cagney & Lacey and what it did for the portrayal of women on television

Morley Safer

View Interview
Morley Safer on his interview with Betty Ford

Maria Elena Salinas

View Interview
Maria Elena Salinas on being called "the most recognized and trusted Hispanic newswomen in America"
Maria Elena Salinas on the challenges of being a female news anchor
Maria Elena Salinas on the current state and then-future of diversity in television 

Marlene Sanders

View Interview
Marlene Sanders on the number of women in television when she started
Marlene Sanders on other female journalists when she came along
Marlene Sanders on being the first woman to anchor an evening news broadcast (for one night) and later for three months; on more women entering the business
Marlene Sanders on her role in the women's movement
Marlene Sanders on publishing the book "Waiting for Primetime" and her conclusions about women in broadcasting
Marlene Sanders on advice for women in broadcast journalism

Jay Sandrich

View Interview
Jay Sandrich on the impact the women's movement came to have on The Mary Tyler Moore Show
Jay Sandrich on a scene in Soap which deals with sexual tension, written from a woman's perspective
Jay Sandrich on how Susan Harris brought a woman's perspective to the writing on Soap
Jay Sandrich on what good comedy can do for us socially

Alfred Schneider

View Interview
Alfred Schneider on writer/producer Susan Harris's response to being told that a scene in Soap where women were discussing sex had to be cut

Esther Shapiro

View Interview
Esther Shapiro on the limited number of female writers
Esther Shapiro on being a female writer in Hollywood and whether or not having a male writing partner helped her
Esther Shapiro on fellow female executives at ABC

Jack Shea

View Interview
Jack Shea on diversity within the DGA

Treva Silverman

View Interview
Treva Silverman on the challenges of being the only female on the writing staff of The Dean Martin Show
Treva Silverman on being the only female writer to work on The Monkees
Treva Silverman on writing The Mary Tyler Moore Show's "Rhoda Morgenstern," played by Valerie Harper, and on the female characters of the show
Treva Silverman on the male writing staff of The Mary Tyler Moore Show, and helping them write for female characters
Treva Silverman on how the role of women has changed since she started in television
Treva Silverman on being the first female writer to win an Emmy Award

Abby Singer

View Interview
Abby Singer on dealing with Affirmative action as a production manager

Aaron Spelling

View Interview
Aaron Spelling on the scarcity of female writers and directors in the '50s and '60s
Aaron Spelling on hiring the cast of Charlie's Angels
Aaron Spelling on the "jiggle TV" label placed upon Charlie's Angels

Lesley Stahl

View Interview
Lesley Stahl on the jobs women had at NBC News when she started in 1967
Lesley Stahl on getting hired at CBS' Washington D.C. news bureau, and how affirmative action played a part in her hiring
Lesley Stahl on being told to re-do an on-camera piece without smiling (to exude more authority) while a correspondent for CBS in Washington in the 1970s
Lesley Stahl on encountering sexism within news crews when she was a rookie reporter for CBS in Washington D.C. in the 1970s
Lesley Stahl on consciously trying to convey authority as a reporter
Lesley Stahl on women in broadcast journalism during her day

Jean Stapleton

View Interview
Jean Stapleton on her involvement with the Women's Movement of the 1970s

Nina Tassler

View Interview
Nina Tassler on the importance of developing shows that provide leading roles for women as well as a work-life balance for lead actresses

Marlo Thomas

View Interview
Marlo Thomas on the advice she received from Lucille Ball regarding being a producer
Marlo Thomas on the TV movie remake of It's a Wonderful LifeIt Happened One Christmas

Grant Tinker

View Interview
Grant Tinker on the lack of diversity in television

Saul Turteltaub

View Interview
Saul Turteltaub on Marlo Thomas' input on That Girl, and how his and Bernie Orenstein's push for Thomas' character to get married led to the end of the show

Ellen M. Violett

View Interview
Ellen M. Violett on sexism she faced in her career
Ellen M. Violett on being a pioneer for women in television

Barbara Walters

View Interview
Barbara Walters on being able to "write for men" on the Today show
Barbara Walters on being denied the opportunity to travel overseas for reporting in her early career
Barbara Walters on being the first female network news anchor (she was co-anchor from 1976-1978 on ABC Evening News)
Barbara Walters on the rise of women in television and her advice to women on getting ahead

Matthew Weiner

View Interview
Matthew Weiner on the Mad Men  episode, "The Other Woman," in which "Joan Holloway" (Christina Hendricks) prostitutes herself to get an account for the firm
Matthew Weiner on the gender equality themes of Mad Men  season 7a

Av Westin

View Interview
Av Westin on negative reactions to Barbara Walters and other female news anchors

Susan Whiting

View Interview
Susan Whiting on being a female executive in the media world

Tucker Wiard

View Interview
Tucker Wiard on fond memories working on The Carol Burnett Show

Ethel Winant

View Interview
Ethel Winant on rising up through the ranks at CBS as a woman
Ethel Winant on being the first female executive at CBS and dealing with other executives like William S. Paley

Lauren Zalaznick

View Interview
Lauren Zalaznick on how things have changed for women in television since she started, and on the then-future of women in television

All Topics