Scathing Letters

“A Slick American Taliban Against Women”


Here’s an excerpt from that Daily Beast article about Debra Granik (director of Winter’s Bone).

Granik saw a number of projects fall by the wayside, including an HBO pilot, American High Life, which followed the path of a young, determined woman navigating her depressed Midwest hometown. That pilot was rejected, which isn’t too surprising given that, as the Huffington Post’s Maureen Ryan pointed out, “With one exception over the course of four decades, HBO has not aired an original one-hour drama series created by a woman.”

There was also another pilot Granik got deeply involved in that featured, she says, “balls-out females on the open plains, like the Wild West.” But that project ran into serious hurdles with the network brass.

“There are content issues,” says Granik. “Each time the project would become heavily compromised. I’d say, ‘I don’t think she needs to be a prostitute to be interesting’ or ‘I don’t think she needs to be raped to be interesting,’ and they’d say, ‘Well, geez, we do need the vagina dentata and we do need the sexual violation, otherwise…’ I mean, should most actresses just get double mastectomies? Is that what they have to do to change the cultural narrative?”

I mention HBO’s longstanding “boobs mandate,” and she furrows her brow before exclaiming, “Where’s the cock?!”