Nicholl 2015...

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    Ronaldinho
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  • Ronaldinho
    replied
    Re: Nicholl 2015...

    Removed.
    Ronaldinho
    Member
    Last edited by Ronaldinho; 08-25-2015, 10:19 PM. Reason: Nothing to be gained from participating in this conversation.

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  • FoxHound
    Member

  • FoxHound
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    Re: Nicholl 2015...

    What's strange is that if the reader had just left out the "They're kinda hot" comment, the porn comment might make perfect sense. If the script's plotless and full of gross-out sex scenes bordering on unfilmable, then that's what most people would say. But by pointing out their appearance, it gives the sexist impression that hot women should just stick to porn.

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  • P-jay
    replied
    Re: Nicholl 2015...

    Ditto to everything Opie said.

    BTW, did anyone, through all of this, check out Rachel's Facebook page. She had two friends urging her to post this on other sites and "Make it go viral." And one good friend who warned her it was completely unacceptable and unprofessional.

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  • opie
    replied
    Re: Nicholl 2015...

    Originally posted by UpandComing View Post
    Could she have sent an e-mail to Nicholl privately? Yes. But take a look through Nicholl's Facebook page (and DDP) -- a number of people are posting excerpts from the notes they received, both positive and negative. So there's nothing unusual or abnormal about the fact that she's sharing it.
    I find there to be a substantial difference between posting an excerpt and reporting an offensive comment. If my boss said something sexist to me at work, my first thought wouldn't be to post it on our Facebook page. That is, unless resolving it amicably wasn't my goal to begin with. Now, if going through proper channels at work did not result in an appropriate response, I would answer differently.

    Originally posted by UpandComing View Post
    Did Rachel reach out to Mashable about her experience? If so, that does smack of a desire for publicity. But given the extremely poor quality of the Facebook rep's response, I cannot put her entirely at fault. It probably wasn't the type of response she was expecting from Nicholl (especially in a public forum), and she may have just wanted to air her grievances.
    So, she basically gave Nicholl five hours after the work day to comply publicly before going to Mashable.

    Originally posted by UpandComing View Post
    A free opportunity to bring attention to your script; I'm sure most of us would take it.
    I wouldn't -- not at the cost of another organization that works hard to support my chosen career. And potentially threaten the future of receiving candid (and appropriate) feedback going forward. But I could be in the minority.

    Originally posted by UpandComing View Post
    Did this whole situation cast an unfairly negative light on Nicholl? Yes.
    Agreed.

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  • UpandComing
    Member

  • UpandComing
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    Re: Nicholl 2015...

    Reading through all these arguments, I went back-and-forth a lot, initially thinking that this is one of those situations where there is blame to go around on both sides.

    But now that I've had the chance to really absorb this -- I have to say that I lean to Rachel's side (BTW, I'm a guy). Here's why:

    *For starters, the note on the script was inappropriate -- pure and simple. It doesn't matter what the tone of the screenplay was; the reader should exhibit a certain base level of professionalism (especially when the notes are being paid for), which was not shown. We can talk about whether or not it was sexist, an area where I feel there is more room for debate, but at the very least, no paid employee should write those types of comments. I've never received notes in that vein, and I hope I never do.

    *Now, regarding how Rachel handled those notes -- she posted a comment on Nicholl's Facebook page criticizing them. Could she have sent an e-mail to Nicholl privately? Yes. But take a look through Nicholl's Facebook page (and DDP) -- a number of people are posting excerpts from the notes they received, both positive and negative. So there's nothing unusual or abnormal about the fact that she's sharing it. In fact, the fact that she's making it public to me probably goes a long way towards Nicholl making sure it will emphasize a more professional tone in its guidelines for readers from now on. Which is on balance, a good thing.

    Basically -- everyone's sharing these days. It's the beast that is social media. Her Facebook posts did not seem to me like a scream for attention.

    *Now regarding the Nicholl Facebook rep's response to Rachel's Facebook post. Like I said, the reader's notes were clearly inappropriate. Recognizing this, the rep should have a) acknowledged this, b) apologized in no uncertain terms, and c) moved on. Instead, that person gave a clearly defensive apology, trying to justify what the reader said in a variety of ways. With that approach, you might as well not apologize; you might as well be saying "I don't really agree with you, but I'm going through the motions so we don't look bad as an organization."

    Go ahead and read it again. The entire exchange ends with the rep saying "I believe the reader was trying to close out the comments with something that echoed the script's title." It shows that the rep thinks that this behavior is in some fashion justifiable, when it is again, bottom-line, unprofessional. That person needed to take a clear, no B.S. stance.

    And Nicholl has responded like the professional, honorable organization it is -- by, after taking stock of the situation, posting a clear, unequivocal apology, and a note that it is "taking steps to address the situation." Exactly the right way to handle this.

    *Now, regarding the Mashable interview.
    My response to this depends. Did Rachel reach out to Mashable about her experience? If so, that does smack of a desire for publicity. But given the extremely poor quality of the Facebook rep's response, I cannot put her entirely at fault. It probably wasn't the type of response she was expecting from Nicholl (especially in a public forum), and she may have just wanted to air her grievances.

    If this was not the case -- and instead Mashable reached out to her -- can you fault her for responding? A free opportunity to bring attention to your script; I'm sure most of us would take it. Besides -- all she did in the article was describe how the situation unfolded. She criticized the remarks; she didn't criticize Nicholl as an organization. In fact, she even says at the end: ""I follow the contest on Facebook, and have seen them post about how women don’t enter this contest that much. They've been trying to get women more involved." Prominently acknowledging Nicholl's positive efforts in this regard.


    Did this whole situation cast an unfairly negative light on Nicholl? Yes. But that's not Rachel's fault. It's the fault of the Facebook rep who answered her question, whom I'm sure won't be fulfilling that role again in the near future.

    Did many of the people going after Nicholl take it too far? Of course. But there's nothing we can do about that -- we live in age of Internet outrage, and when you combine that with the fact that many of the people screaming the loudest were also upset about not placing in the competition (and you can see their bitter comments on Nicholl's Facebook page on a regular basis) -- well, you get the s***storm we are seeing now.

    So, frankly -- I would encourage everyone who's dumping all over Rachel, or even just casting aspersions on her motives, to re-read all of the material associated with the situation. And maybe question yourself as to why you may have been so quick to adopt that stance. The answer might not be so pleasant.

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  • AE35-Unit
    Regular

  • AE35-Unit
    replied
    Re: Nicholl 2015...

    Bruce. You rock. And you're right.

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  • Bruce Rose
    User

  • Bruce Rose
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    Re: Nicholl 2015...

    Originally posted by AE35-Unit View Post
    Logline: "When her way of life is threatened deep in the backwoods of colonial Georgia, a firebrand mother-of-two who lives off the land takes up arms and declares her own Goddamn war on the British."

    WAR WOMAN

    Based on the life of Nancy Morgan Hart.

    Period Drama - Action.

    2015 Nicholl semifinalist.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nancy_Hart
    Hoo-hah, AE35-Unit!

    ... And those Nicholl comments were inappropriate, snarky and condescending - a rotten grape among a barrel of 17,000. It's not a surprise. I'll bet there's more than a few other bad ones in there, too. Readers are readers, and they bring all of their baggage to the party. I can't imagine how many readers they enlist to generate 17,000 reads. I assume the vast majority of them are good people, and a few of them may not be very nice or in a good mood when reading. A couple may be smug, and that's the way it goes. It doesn't at all influence my opinion negatively when it comes to the effort and care the folks at Nicholl take in administering this contest. They've consistently done great things for aspiring writers for decades, and that shouldn't be forgotten when this is being discussed. They deserve the benefit of the doubt. This is a contest run by advocates, not the evil empire.

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  • Bunker
    replied
    Re: Nicholl 2015...

    What a fascinating Rorschach Test of sexism.

    I fall into the "it was sexist and inappropriate" camp.

    Sure, the offending line fit the snarky tone of the rest of the review. And, overall, I didn't have a problem with the tone. It felt like honest criticism.

    That final line, though? - "With some judicious alterations, it might make a decent porn picture, as the gals do seem kinda hot, at least on the page."

    It's essentially saying, "I'd rather watch these girls fvck."

    Which feels like a sexist take-away from a female-led raunchy comedy.

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  • AE35-Unit
    Regular

  • AE35-Unit
    replied
    Re: Nicholl 2015...

    Originally posted by DarkKnight(OfTheSoul)
    Nice.
    How about this one, it has built in dramatic irony (it's a bit wordy but you get the idea):

    "The writer of a raunchy and potentially offensive sex comedy script is offended when they receive a comment about the script that could be taken as raunchy and potentially offensive, thereby starting a chain of events that leads to the demise of 'the coddling of the American mind' and resurgence of young people being taught how to live in a world full of potential offenses."
    Yeah, hell man, I can't get into raising kids. I've raised three and you can't piss them off if you smacked em with broom. Like I said, sexism is a problem. But so is ageism... and... well to blunt, racism. But it's the biz duder. Always has been. Always will be.

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  • AE35-Unit
    Regular

  • AE35-Unit
    replied
    Re: Nicholl 2015...

    Logline: "When her way of life is threatened deep in the backwoods of colonial Georgia, a firebrand mother-of-two who lives off the land takes up arms and declares her own Goddamn war on the British."

    WAR WOMAN

    Based on the life of Nancy Morgan Hart.

    Period Drama - Action.

    2015 Nicholl semifinalist.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nancy_Hart

    Leave a comment:


  • P-jay
    replied
    Re: Nicholl 2015...

    Originally posted by omjs View Post
    ...

    I think it's good to call out instances of sexism or general unprofessionalism when you see them, at least if you have a reasonably appropriate way to do so, but the way these things blow up is just sickening sometimes.
    I absolutely agree, and I want to echo what two previous posters have said. The article that can be found here is excellent.

    http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/...n-mind/399356/

    Particularly relevant to this situation is the segment on catastrophizing and zero tolerance.

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  • omjs
    replied
    Re: Nicholl 2015...

    Sexism doesn't have to be intentional or targeted - the comment can still be sexist if the writer was a man and the note-giver was a woman. I might be more likely to question whether the script itself was sexist if a man wrote it, but it would still be a sexist comment. That's because of the way that comment fits into the larger context of women in the film industry, especially women's stories. It dismisses the script in a way that stories about women have been dismissed for a long time, so it perpetuates sexist attitudes about women and stories and sex, and that's why it's sexist.

    Just clarifying.

    That said, internet witch-hunting is the worst. Nobody seems to have any sense of proportion. I think it was fine to call it out on the Facebook page initially, but once it was addressed by the Academy everybody else should have stayed out of it.

    I think it's good to call out instances of sexism or general unprofessionalism when you see them, at least if you have a reasonably appropriate way to do so, but the way these things blow up is just sickening sometimes.

    Leave a comment:

  • novajane
    New User

  • novajane
    replied
    Re: Nicholl 2015...

    When I got on Facebook this evening I was sorry to see the drama that has exploded over one reader's comment. Maybe a little perspective would come in handy right now.

    I'm not in Hollywood but for the sake of argument, even if we all accept that sexism exists and the movie business is male dominated, how does one questionable comment out of 17,000 somehow prove that a contest with a thirty year track record of helping men AND women break in to the industry is somehow culpable in this? Was the reader even a man? This is a contest that goes to great pains to ensure blind and multiple reads to minimize gender/race/nationality bias. No system will ever be perfect but the outcry demanding Nicholl "fix- some imagined problem and especially police the readers really sends a chill. One poster on Facebook even said we should band together and demand they create a women only fellowship. Really? Demand??

    We don't know the motives of the writer or the reader so it's not really worth trying to guess at this point but I just hate the thought of "Trial by Facebook" and the fallout for the writers and the contest. Either they'll stop providing comments or the readers (the ones who stick around) will be so cautious in what they say the comments won't be worth paying for.

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  • StoryWriter
    Member

  • StoryWriter
    replied
    Re: Nicholl 2015...

    Originally posted by justin View Post
    I can't imagine that any writer, female or male, could fail to be offended by the sarcastic tone of these comments. And the sexism of the final sentence makes matters even worse.
    Once again -- from everything I've read on this thread -- the reviewer gave her a positive review. It seems highly unlikely to me that a reviewer would give a positive review and then intentionally insult the author.

    Since I haven't read the script, it's hard for me to tell if the if the reviewer was making a joke or was making a serious suggestion.

    Has anyone considered that the script was so raunchy that maybe it was equivalent to x-rated and the reviewer was making a serious suggestion of a way to market it? (Just a guess -- no way to know.)

    All I do know is, if you're a writer, you've got to have a thicker skin than that. Especially if you're a writer that's writing raunchy comedies. To be so easily offended, would be like a stand up comedian walking off the stage because one person in the audience makes one disparaging remark.

    To me, sarcasm is like the air I breathe. If writers don't make a sarcastic remark about my writing, from time to time, I know they're not reading it. If I had curled up into the fetal position, the first time someone made a sarcastic remark, I would have quit writing 45 years ago.

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  • P-jay
    replied
    Re: Nicholl 2015...

    Originally posted by DarkKnight(OfTheSoul)
    It seems being a screenwriter in Hollywood is the wrong place for you. If you want someone to respect your sincere effort on your script I suggest giving it to your mom to read. And this comment sincerely has nothing to do with sexism, it has to do with being a writer and taking feedback.
    Actually, I've had a producer tell me that I'm wonderful at taking notes.

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