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Listen Up: Here Are 3 Books on the Sexism Women Face in Hollywood.

By September 12, 2018No Comments

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Leslie Moonves is the latest Hollywood executive to step down after several women came forward with accusations of sexual misconduct. These three books, at times sober and hilarious, tell the experiences of women in television, while one assesses how far they’ve come.

… And a Few Hard Truths About Sneaking Into the Hollywood Boys’ Club
By Nell Scovell
311 pp. Dey St./Morrow. (2018)

Among the anecdotes that Scovell, the creator of “Sabrina, the Teenage Witch,” shares about her time in television, is one about her first day as a writer on “Late Night with David Letterman.” A new colleague stopped to greet her and then said, “Before this is over, I will see a tampon fall out of your purse.” In this memoir, the television writer “catalogs the men who should have been comrades and instead were antagonists,” said our reviewer, adding: “It’s not a short list.” “Just the Funny Parts” is as much memoir as it is how-to, containing practice advice for aspiring television writers. Scovell worked with Sheryl Sandberg on “Lean In,” and our reviewer said Sandberg’s “spirit infuses this book.”

How Women Are Revolutionizing Television
By Joy Press
311 pp. Atria Books. (2018)

“Stealing the Show” centers on the women, including Lena Dunham, Amy Schumer and Jenji Kohan, behind the cluster of female-centric shows on the air in 2015. Press documents these women’s achievements as well as that of their predecessors, and our reviewer wrote that she “really kicks into gear with a rich chapter on ‘Murphy Brown,’ followed by a corker of a look-back at the making of ‘Roseanne.’” When she started her book, Press expected that Hillary Clinton would be president by the time it was published — a capstone to the small-screen transformation she documents. But “what looked like the forward march of progress turned out to be one of history’s grand zigzags,” she writes, and what once seemed like a “permanent advance,” now seemed “significantly more precarious and embattled.”

By Tina Fey
277 pages. Reagan Arthur/Little, Brown & Company. (2011)

This book isn’t a memoir, according to our reviewer: “It’s a spiky blend of humor, introspection, critical thinking and Nora Ephron-isms for a new generation.” Still, it follows Fey’s life chronologically, from growing up in Pennsylvania to her training at the Second City sketch comedy theater in Chicago to her career in Hollywood. She wrote “Bossypants” while her critically acclaimed show, “30 Rock” was still on the air and offers both serious and tongue-in-cheek advice for being a woman and the boss — no tube tops in the office; cry at work if you must because “it terrifies everyone.” Fey “comes off as a strongly opinionated dynamo with a comedic voice that is totally her own,” wrote our reviewer.

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