- The Washington Times - Friday, August 4, 2017

A major television network has announced its plan to seat more women in the director’s chair.

NBC’s “Female Forward” campaign will kick off for the filming of the 2018-19 TV season, with 10 up-and-coming female directors to work on 10 network series, Variety said, with the program expanding its scope in future years, Variety reported Wednesday.

Veteran TV director and executive producer Lesli Linka Glatter — whom Deadline Hollywood describes as “the most successful female drama episodic director working today” — will be an integral part of the project, mentoring the participants in the program.

“It shouldn’t be harder for our daughters to direct than for our sons. It should be an equal playing field,” Ms. Linka Glatter said, Deadline Hollywood reported. “I’m truly optimistic that with this kind of commitment from the incredible Jen Salke and NBC Entertainment, we can actually make a difference. A program like this is a game changer and it’s an honor to be a part of it.”

In recent years, Hollywood has been beset with concerns about wage inequity between men and women in the industry as well as a lack of representation by women in key roles behind the camera and in corporate offices. Among the more notable stories on that front, in March it was reported that male cast members of CBS’s “Big Bang Theory” volunteered a pay cut in order to boost the pay of their female co-stars.

For their parts, female executives at NBC hailed the “Female Forward” initiative as a chance to help level the playing field.

“We strongly believe women can and should be at the forefront of telling compelling stories, and I hope the guaranteed directing component will have real impact on our shows as well as the industry,” NBC President Jennifer Salke said in a statement, Variety reported.

“There’s no doubt in my mind that this program will springboard the success of many future female directors, and I’m very much looking forward to that future,” said Karen Horne, an NBC executive tasked with boosting diversity at the network, Deadline reported.

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