“Who runs the world? Girls.”
Well, at least they should. And the five women in this article should definitely be leading the television industry, because they know exactly what they’re doing. In a year where things have been pretty crappy (yes, that is a huge understatement), these women have been a glimmer of hope. They’ve taken the metaphorical bull of scripted television by the horns, including a lack of diversity and representation on television, along with voicing real-life issues that tend to be overlooked.
5 Women Making Change:
Kate Johnson does it all, and she supports the LGBTQ+ community as she does it. That’s right, Johnson is not only the creator, writer, and producer of web series The Leslie, but she also stars in it. The web series, which has been picked up for a second season, is brutally honest. Based on Johnson’s own experiences, The Leslie foregoes giving an idealized and romanticized version of a story -- instead giving the audience a more nitty-gritty view. It’s about discovering your sexuality, coming out, and what comes after. Because let’s be honest, the what comes after can be just as scary and confusing as the “what am I?” part of discovering your sexuality.
She may not be the producer or writer of a show yet, but Layne Morgan has everything that it takes to be one. Currently working as a writer’s PA for MTV’s Shannara Chronicles and formerly The CW’s The 100, Layne is the queer feminist hero that we all need. When she isn’t working behind the scenes, she’s pushing for and supporting important issues and, to this day, has raised thousands of dollars for various charities. She’s not afraid to speak her mind, even if it means putting herself in a place of vulnerability in order to speak for those who can’t or to stand up for something that she believes in. She is making change in this world, and we can’t wait to see where it will take her. Could there be a show in the works about queer witches using spells for their feminist agendas? Whatever stories she has up her sleeve, you can sign us up.
One word: Sanvers. Okay, but really, executive producer and co-creator of The CW’s Supergirl is on here for more reasons than just a single ship (although that is one of the main reasons). Adler, along with the other writers of Supergirl, are giving us a show that we can not only be proud of and support but one that is full of action in all of its superhero glory. It’s giving little girls a hero to look to, one that isn’t teaching them that they have to look perfect or be perfect but one teaching them to channel their inner strength. The show shows girls, young women, and women alike that they’re just as strong and capable as boys while breaking the stereotype that comic books are only for boys.
And, back to Sanvers, a ship that has been thrown into spotlight in recent weeks for all of the best reasons possible: In a scene that fans have dubbed one of the most realistic coming out scene in TV, the LGBTQ+ community found a home and a safe place after a year full of the Bury Your Gays trope.
Emily Andras is bringing diversity to our screen and burying all of the tropes. Want LGBTQ+ representation? Andras has it for you in Wayhaught. Want strong leading ladies who don’t need a man’s help? Andras is your girl. Want POC characters who are main characters? Yep, Andras has that, too. Don’t believe me that one woman could give an audience all of this awesome diversity in a single show? Well then, just go watch Wynonna Earp to be proven wrong. Emily Andras is the smasher of tropes and the bringer of diversity, and we couldn’t say thank you enough for it.
Jenn Kaytin Robinson
Tired of rape culture? Tired of seeing perpetrators going without punishment while victims go without justice? Well, Jenn Kaytin Robinson is your go-to girl with her must-see show Sweet/Vicious. Let’s just say that two very headstrong college students, Jules and Ophelia, aren’t going to let crimes go unpunished.
In a world where sexual assault, especially college sexual assault, sadly isn’t an uncommon thing, Sweet/Vicious is a show that we desperately need. It takes on a topic that is often misused and treated poorly or completely avoided and overshadowed, creating more complex and thought-out stories for survivors and not diminishing them to simple plot devices to further a male’s storyline -- it’s about girls taking back control and fighting for and standing up for others. It’s like feminism on crack.
Sweet/Vicious is creating a safe space for survivors that is empowering -- defining consent, sexual assault, and harassment -- all while fighting back against misogyny and rape culture.
These five women are just a few of the many people who are fighting for change. There are so many more, and we have them to thank for leading the fight.