The second season of Netflix’s Jessica Jones just hit the streaming service today, but a dark story has emerged about the show and its search for directors.
According to Entertainment Weekly, the second season of Jessica Jones will feature all female directors for each of its 13 episodes. There’s nothing wrong with that. In fact, we’ve seen fantastic films from female directors including last year’s Wonder Woman by Patty Jenkins, Katheryn Bigelow’s Hurt Locker, and Mary Harron’s American Psycho just to name a few.
However, it appears Netflix didn’t even give male directors a chance to be a part of the second season.
Jessica Jones showrunner Melissa Rosenberg admits the discrimination. She explains the decision to have only female directors came from Netflix’s VP in charge of original series, Allie Goss. Goss called her up and said, “Why not all 13? I was like, ‘Oh my God, of course!”
Rosenberg elaborates on her hunt for the female directors, “It didn’t take a lot of effort to fill those slots. There’s a lot of highly qualified and talented female directors out there, so what we did was simply open the door. It wasn’t like we had to give a bunch of women their first break. It was just being inclusive.” She continued, “It wasn’t like I was doing them any favors. They were doing us a favor by joining our roster. And, you know, we’re looking forward to the day when we’re not even having this conversation, we’re just talking about them as qualified people who happen to be women. Hopefully, we’re there someday, but now? Not yet.”
Except by making the decision to not even include men in their hunt for directors, they are exacerbating the problem. And she is inherently not talking about “them as qualified people who happen to be women.” She specifically targeted them because they were women. They didn’t have to stand on their own laurels against men because men weren’t even included in the talent hunt.
This decision all smells of what comic book writer Christopher Priest described as “casting writers.” Priest detailed that Marvel Comics and DC Comics “were no longer hiring writers – they were casting writers. They’re listening to chatter on Twitter insisting that only a black lesbian writer could write a black lesbian character, and that’s nonsense.”
Netflix appears to have done the same thing with Jessica Jones. They’ve casted directors solely on their gender and didn’t allow them to compete with men. This is backwards thinking. People should be judged on the merits not on their race, gender, or sexual orientation.
Do you think Netflix should be discriminating against men?