I made the mistake of thinking Marcy was a powerful woman in her own right. I've come to learn that there are none in TV. There aren't powerful men, for that matter, either – unless they work for an ad company or a market-study group. Those are the people who decide what gets on the air and what doesn't.
Complaining about the "created by" credit made an enemy of Matt. He wasted no time undermining me, going so far as to ask my co-star, John Goodman, who played Roseanne Conner's husband, Dan, if he would do the show without me. (Goodman said no.) It was then that I had my first nervous breakdown. [excerpt]
I'll cross-post this on several blogs as it touches on gender, regulation, class prejudice and the general financial machinations of the entertainment business. Assuming you're unaware of what 'Roseanne' is, a few clicks on wikipedia or youtube will swiftly bring you up to speed - it was a hugely successful US sitcome with the USP of centring on a working-class family (with money problems and lousy jobs, not the usual facsimille of working class, or 'labour as Roseanne Barr refers to it, with a tough domestically inept/disinterested woman at the head of the family).
There are very, very few comparisons - aspects of Taxi perhaps, maybe even Married With Children.
Her article, and forthcoming book, reveal just how unprepared the US TV network (whose working practices, being fundamentally driven by financial calculations and audience testing, are not so different to those of the film biz) was to let an unvarnished depiction of working class folk go on, let alone allow a female creative lead the way. Roseanne Barr found that her own creation was credited to an entirely uninvolved male producer, who went on to make her life hell.
There may be a 'PC' moral behind this, but it is a fascinating read from a very un-PC lady.
Roseanne Barr: 'Fame's a bitch. It's hard to handle and drives you nuts'