A Plus Book Club

How Joy Press Thinks Women Will Continue To Revolutionize The TV Industry — And Beyond

"Stealing the Show" was this month's pick for the A Plus Book Club.

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In the past several months, cultural moments such as the #MeToo and Time's Up movements have brought the issue of gender discrimination and gender equality in the entertainment industry into national focus. But women fighting for their place at the proverbial table in Hollywood is not limited to the past year. This week, the A Plus Book Club talked with journalist Joy Press, author of Stealing the Show, about how female showrunners have revolutionized the landscape of television since the 1980s. 

Press starts her book at a time when the industry was even less open to women, when showrunners such as Diane English of Murphy Brown and Roseanne Barr were fighting their way onto TV sets, and then illustrates how those battles opened doors for each new season of women-backed TV shows — culminating in a sort of golden age of women in television with current shows such as Transparent and the Shondaland empire. And while there are still many steps to full equality for women in television, Press has high hopes that the days of being the "token woman" on a writing staff are over. 

"I think really, at the end of the day, where you want to get to is not a place where you have to count numbers," she told A Plus. "The ideal is, you get to a place where there's just a diverse workplace. So you have a huge array of people, and that's just going to create better characters. The ideal would be to have an array of kinds of people from different backgrounds. That's going to create better stories."

Check out the full conversation in the video above and be sure to join us for next month's A Plus Book Club. As always, if there's a book you'd like to see featured, send your requests to bookclub@aplus.com. 

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