‘Station 19’ Writers Room Incident Involving Written Racial Slur Sparks Inclusive Workplace Discussion, Leadership Structure Changes

EXCLUSIVE UPDATED: In April 2021, ABC’s first-responders drama Station 19 aired an episode hailed as one of the crucial highly effective reflections of George Floyd’s homicide on tv. It was written by government producer/showrunner Krista Vernoff, with contributions from the present’s writing and assist employees in addition to the solid.

More than a yr later, an incident involving the depiction of racism on the web page has left the writing staff of the Grey’s Anatomy spinoff reeling. According to sources, it needed to do with a author’s current draft of a top level view for an upcoming Season 6 episode that included quite a few makes use of of a racial slur by a racist character. I hear the script was assigned to a white author, and the phrase in query was b—-r, a derogatory reference to an individual from Latino descent.

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The define was met with shock and disbelief when shared with the writers room, and tensions grew to some extent the place the digital room has been placed on pause, sources stated. Vernoff on Monday despatched an e-mail to the employees, a replica of which was obtained by Deadline, during which she spoke of “recent harm and systemic issues” that will be addressed in a Zoom assembly Tuesday. It was to be attended by Jones, an organizational psychology guide group specializing in fostering range and inclusion in work environments and management.

“We will not be meeting creatively nor should we email as a group until then,” Vernoff wrote in her Monday e-mail to the employees saying the Tuesday assembly. “We will not proceed with business as usual until the recent harm and systemic issues have been addressed and healing has begun. If you are on script or outline please work on your own for the moment.”

The assembly was held Tuesday, and communication among the many writers on the present has resumed since, sources inform Deadline. The present’s digital writers room has not been reconvened, nonetheless, whereas the scenario is being evaluated and safeguards are being put in place. According to sources, there certainly have been earlier racial points that the define incident magnified, turning into the proverbial straw that broke the camel’s again.

Shonda Rhimes’ Shondaland is behind Grey’s Anatomy and Station 19. The firm, which has damaged quite a few limitations for on- and off-screen illustration over the previous 20 years, rapidly intervened after the incident occurred, sources stated.

“As a company, it is in our DNA to constantly review the culture of our productions and to quickly make changes if and when they are not living up to the Shondaland values,” the corporate stated in an announcement to Deadline. “A recent situation in the writers’ room at Station 19 provided us with opportunities to reimagine the structure of leadership in the name of creating a more respectful and inclusive workplace.”

ABC and ABC Signature, the studio which produces Station 19, declined remark.

It is unclear what precisely the reimagined management construction on the present can be. Since Vernoff runs each Grey’s Anatomy and Station 19, her No. 2 and prime lieutenant on Station 19 is Kiley Donovan. I hear the adjustments potentiality would come with bringing in a brand new head author who’s an individual of shade, with Donovan, who has labored on each Grey’s Anatomy and Station 19 for the previous three years, presumably transferring to a different Shondaland collection.

Also unclear is the destiny of the script that sparked the controversy. The offensive portion clearly won’t be used; there’s discuss to doubtlessly scrap your entire script however no resolution has been made.

Production on Station 19‘s upcoming sixth season started July 28. It is slated to premiere October 6.

Station 19, ABC’s No. 2 scripted collection behind Grey’s Anatomy, follows a bunch of heroic Seattle firefighters as they put their lives and hearts on the road. It stars Jaina Lee Ortiz, Jason George, Boris Kodjoe, Grey Damon, Barrett Doss, Jay Hayden, Danielle Savre, Stefania Spampinato and Carlos Miranda.

The collection was created by Stacy McKee. Rhimes and Betsy Beers additionally function government producers alongside Vernoff. Station 19 is produced by ABC Signature, part of Disney Television Studios.

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