CSI: Cyber’s leading lady Patricia Arquette (Avery Ryan) participated in a Hollywood Reporter story about women and sexism in hollywood, along with what CBS is doing as a network to combat the issue. “It wasn’t my idea to have a middle-aged woman be the lead of the new CSI,” Arquette said. “That was their idea. They were very clear about wanting more women, and also wanting minorities to be present, and wanting to have a realistic vision of what really is happening in America.”
You can watch the video after the jump, where you’ll also find quotes from Cyber Executive Producer Pam Veasey and Criminal Minds Executive Producer Erica Messer!
First, here’s the video:
Messer told the Hollywood Reporter about a real-life case she’d researched for Criminal Minds, involving a woman who shot her children and tried to claim someone else was responsible. One of the children survived and implicated the mother, causing her to be arrested. “It’s a real story! I thought, ‘Oh my God, this is crazier than anything any of us would ever dream up,'” Messer said. “And when I brought it up in the writers room everyone was like, ‘We can’t do that.’ And I was like, ‘I know.’ And I’ve never looked again.”
“Even with my experience I often have to go through two or three interviews to convince someone,” Veasey said. “Despite your experience as a showrunner they go, ‘Hmm, can she write for us?’ You kind of want to go, ‘I can do this!'” Veasey previously worked as an executive producer on CSI: New York before taking the reins on Cyber, and she revealed that she faces challenges based on her race as well as her gender:
As someone who has to deal with diversity issues from two different perspectives — either being an African-American or being a woman — I think it’s much harder being an African-American. We develop fewer shows. We’re always number four or five on the call sheet. There are very few African-Americans behind the camera. If you name all of the African-Americans who lead a show, barring a few, they’ve been nominated for an Oscar or won one: Laurence Fishburne, Halle Berry, Octavia Spencer, Taraji P. Henson, Terrence Howard. Octavia Spencer and Viola Davis should have had opportunities ages ago. The bar’s set so high for women and minorities in this business.”