According to Women and Hollywood, women only account for 27% of all behind-the-scenes workers on broadcast network programs, and 69% of programs employ five or fewer women in such roles during the 2017-2018 season. By contrast, only 13% of television programs employed five or fewer men.
This speaks to the significance of Killing Eve‘s all female crew. The popular program follows a once desk-bound MI6 operative, Eve (Sandra Oh), who is tasked with locating the assassin, Villanelle (Jodie Comer). But when Jodie Comer and Golden Globe Winner Sandra Oh spoke about this with The Hollywood Reporter, they expressed their gratitude for the fact that, to them, this is becoming increasingly normal.
Oh elaborated on this with, “You know what? I was about to say I’d had the fortunate luck, and that is true, but it’s also down to who’s hired me. I’ve worked with a lot of women. […] In front of and behind the camera, for example, I’ve primarily worked with female first assistant directors, and I remember them all. These women have been my first ADs for years. I still remember my first first AD.”
Comer echoed Oh’s remarks. She explained that her recent projects had all been written by women. She then described an experience working on set for a BBC short film from the mind of Vicky Jones.
“The crew was 90 percent women,” recalled Comer. “And there were only like two men. It was totally overwhelming, actually. It’s not until you see it that you go, ‘Wow, this is possible.’ To be around that was really powerful, but I’m the same as Sandra in that this has commonly been my experience, and it’s something that I want to continue going forward.”
Both agreed that Killing Eve is a mere continuation of their experiences working with incredible, talented women. To Oh, working with such women is something she’s always “gravitated toward.” “It feels nice to be able to tell you that we can barely tell the difference on Killing Eve because this is always the water we’ve been swimming in,” she said.
Hopefully, more and more female professionals will be able to speak to similar experiences as the television industry becomes increasingly receptive to women behind-the-scenes. Perhaps, in years to come, everyone will share in Oh and Comer’s “normal.”
Killing Eve airs on Sundays at 8 p.m. on BBC America and AMC.