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FROM THIS EPISODE

Grey's Anatomy showrunner Krista Vernoff and comedy writer Janis Hirsch and are two of the many women who have come forward in the wake of Harvey Weinstein's downfall to share their own accounts of gender bias and sexual harassment in Hollywood. They talk about what they've had to put up with and why they hope the culture will finally change. Plus, a banter segment about the continued fallout as even more accusers come forward.

Photo (L-R) Krista Vernoff and Janis Hirsch

Hollywood news banter 6 MIN, 7 SEC

Matt Belloni, editorial director of the Hollywood Reporter, joins Kim Masters to discuss top entertainment news stories of the week.

  • Mark Halperin is stepping away from NBC News and HBO has dropped him from an upcoming project after multiple women accused him of harassment when he was at ABC.
  • Bill O'Reilly paid $32 million to settle with one woman who accused him of sexual harassment at Fox News. After that settlement, Fox still renewed his contract. That amount of money is raising eyebrows, and has people wondering how James Murdoch could not have known about the settlement as he claims.

Guests:
Matthew Belloni, Hollywood Reporter (@THRMattBelloni)

Personal accounts of sexual harassment in Hollywood 21 MIN, 5 SEC

In the weeks since the New York Times and the New Yorker brought down Harvey Weinstein, women in Hollywood have continued to speak out.

Two of those women recently wrote powerful personal essays for the Hollywood Reporter about their own experiences with discrimination and harassment in the industry. We asked them to share their stories on the show today.

Krista Vernoff is the executive producer and showrunner of Grey's Anatomy on ABC. Several years ago, she was trying to cast a TV pilot. The choice was between two women. One clearly was the stronger actress and better for the role. Everyone agreed -- except the male network president. He said the other actress had a sexier build. One of his underlings -- a woman executive -- spoke up on behalf of the choice that everyone else had favored. Vernoff got the actress of her choice but two weeks later, that female executive was abruptly fired.

Vernoff says fear of of retaliation and being labeled a "difficult woman" is one reason many women in Hollywood don't report discrimination or abuse. She shares some of her own experiences with gender bias, explains how the entire industry is in some way culpable and how Hollywood can change for the better going forward by increasing gender parity in jobs.

Then, comedy writer Janis Hirsch tells us about a dream job turning into a nightmare. Hirsch started out working on Square Pegs in 1982. Her sitcom credits include Murphy Brown, Frasier and Will & Grace, and she continues to have a very busy career -- she's currently working on a pilot for CBS.

Following the Harvey Weinstein revelations, Hirsch wrote about getting hired to work for one of her comedy heroes, Garry Shandling, early in her career. She tells us how the harassment in the writer's room began and then escalated to a horrifying, traumatic incident. When the show's producer finally acknowledged there was a problem, Hirsch was shocked to learn his solution was for her to quit immediately.

Hirsch shares why she told that story to everyone for years, and how owning the experience and making it funny has helped women writers who have followed in her footsteps.

Guests:
Krista Vernoff, Emmy-nominated TV writer and showrunner (@KristaVernoff)
Janis Hirsch, National Lampoon (@Janis_Hirsch)

More:
Krista Vernoff on harassment in Hollywood: 'It's Not Just Harvey'
Hirsch on lurid details of harassment on set and why it cost her a job

CREDITS

Host:
Kim Masters

Producers:
Kaitlin Parker

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