Aspiring Screenwriter Was Told Her All-Female Buddy Comedy Would Make a 'Decent Porn'

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A screenwriter from L.A. who participated in a recent Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences fellowship competition was told that her screenplay could be better off as a porn.

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In March, Rachel Koller submitted her feature screenplay, The Big D, to Academy Nicholl Fellowships—a competition that’s held by the Academy (the same one behind the Academy Awards)—and paid $40 extra to see notes from the anonymous script reader.

The script, which made it to the quarterfinals, has four female leads and focuses on divorce. Koller describes it as a “raunchy comedy.”

Instead of constructive criticism on it, she got these comments back from the professional who read the script and who isn’t affiliated with the Academy:

Illustration for article titled Aspiring Screenwriter Was Told Her All-Female Buddy Comedy Would Make a 'Decent Porn'

After receiving this feedback, Koller went directly to Nicholl, writing in a Facebook post:

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Whoever was posting to the Nicholl Fellowships’ Facebook page on Monday stupidly responded to Koller by calling the script notes a “failed joke” and referencing Koller’s title The Big D (those comments have since been deleted):

Thanks for letting us know, Rachel. And I’m sorry you were upset by the comment. Having just read the entire review, I believe the reader was trying to make a joke, which didn’t work. ... Not the best choice of comparisons and for that we apologize. ... Feel free to post the entire comment so that others can see the remark in context. ... BTW, the reader gave your script a positive score.

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Koller replied with:

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Koller also told Mashable on Monday, “I know I didn’t write the greatest screenplay that ever was, but I was just startled to see such blatantly sexist comments, especially that were associated with the Academy.”

Nicholl Fellowships later apologized in a statement on Facebook:

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A spokeswoman for the Academy tried to distance the organization, saying, “The comments and notes provided by industry script readers do not represent the opinions of the Academy.”

The Academy has its own sexist and racist bullshit to tackle, anyway.


Contact the author at clover@jezebel.com.

Image via Twitter

DISCUSSION

maybejeffreyloria
MaybeJeffreyLoria

A few things:

1)The readers are not “industry professionals”, they’re usually college kids or assistants making some extra cash writing notes for the academy. More often than not they’re wannabe writers themselves.

2) The readers cover the scripts blind and have no idea who the writer is.

So what we have here is, most likely, a male, white, middle class, wannabe writer, thinking he’s making a sly joke to what he assumes is a male writer. So in a lot of ways, it’s more sexist than you might think because it’s showing the closed door mindset many in the industry have. A sort of *wink, wink* *nudge, nudge* old boy’s club bathroom joke. To readers like this guy, this is a medium for men, by men, and women are still very much an outsider to their little club.