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DGA Accused of Bias Against Female Directing Teams by ‘Crazy Ex-Girlfriend’ Director

Crazy Ex-Girlfriend” writer-producer Audrey Wauchope has accused the Directors Guild of America of bias against female directing teams.

Wauchope leveled the assertions Friday in the wake of longtime partner Rachel Specter not receiving directing credit for co-directing Friday’s segment with Wauchope.

The DGA had no comment Friday, citing its policy of not commenting on internal matters. The CW, which has aired the four seasons of the comedy series, had no comment. Wauchope unveiled the accusations in a series of tweets.

“My #FemaleFilmmakerFriday goes out to my co-Director on tonight’s Crazy Ex-Girlfriend episode @RachelSpecter,” she tweeted. “Rachel and I are a lifelong writing/directing team but due to a decision by the DGA which completely erases her from our work, she’s not credited on tonight’s episode.”

The DGA has a longtime “one director to a film” policy aimed at protecting the director’s creative vision. It does allow established directing teams such as the brother teams of Ethan and Joel Coen, and Joe and Anthony Russo.  The DGA also did not intervene earlier this year on the directors credited for “The Nutcracker the Four Realms,” with Lasse Hallstrom and Joe Johnston voluntarily sharing directing credit due to Johnston being hired for a month of re-shoots, requiring special effects, when Hallstrom was not available to film the additional footage.

The DGA website defines as teams who “learned how to direct together, by actually doing it, and have, therefore, demonstrated that they perform the director’s duties as if they were actually one director.”

Wauchope and Specter have writing and producing credits on “Crazy Ex-Girlfriend” and writing credits on “Cougar Town” and “One Tree Hill.”

Wauchope said the DGA told her and Specter that their “body of work” was not great enough and were asked why they had not directed more. She said they responded thusly: “We had children. And full time writing jobs. A career which we fought for after being let go for sexual harassment and pregnancy.”

“I could go on and on but the end result is still the same — we achieved something we’d dreamt of for years and only one of our names appears on the episode,” she wrote. “Because a board of people get to decide who constitutes a team that gets to make art.”

“There are NO Female teams directing TV,” Wauchope also said. “The DGA had the chance to do the right thing here and put their money where their mouth is. Would it have hurt their union to allow two hardworking females to create together? No.”

“Crazy Ex-Girlfriend” co-creators Rachel Bloom and Aline Brosh McKenna also tweeted in support of Wauchope. Bloom wrote, “DGA, get your act together. @audreyalison and @RachelSpecter are a dual directing force to be reckoned with.”

The accusations against the DGA come two weeks after the guild issued its annual report on episodic TV asserting that women and directors of color posted record levels of employment in episodic television directing jobs during the past TV season. The percentage of episodes directed by women rose to 25% of all episodes, and the percentage of episodes helmed by directors of color increased to 24% of all episodes. DGA Thomas Schlamme said at the time that networks need to do more to push for inclusion.

“The bright spot here is that the doors are finally opening wider for women, who are seeing more opportunities to direct television,” he said on Oct. 10. “But it’s disappointing the same can’t be said for directors of color. The studios and networks who do the hiring still have a long way to go, and we are committed to continuing this important fight.”

Here are Wauchope’s, McKenna’s and Bloom’s tweets:

 

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