Melissa Rosenberg, executive producer and showrunner of Marvel’s Jessica Jones has revealed that Season 2 will be directed entirely by women.
Rosenberg during her panel at Transforming Hollywood 7: Diversifying Entertainment, revealed her desire to increase the number of female directors in the show’s second season — Marvel was completely on board with this, she said. She and the other producers had planned to book women first, considering how in-demand some female directors are, and contract male directors later in the pre-production process. After someone involved in the production suggested the idea of booking women only, she was quick to jump at the opportunity.
Rosenberg also said that when hiring behind-the-scenes people, the show wanted to hire a diverse range, Variety reported.
This makes Jessica Jones one of the few one-hour dramas to have all-female list directors. OWN’s Queen Sugar also had only female directors its first season.
“When I interview a writer, I’m less interested in what you’ve been doing professionally than I am in where you’re from, what your parents do, what’s your life experience, what are you bringing to the table personally?” Rosenberg said. “I don’t want a bunch of people who look and sound [like me] and have the experiences I have.”
Rosenberg also said that persistence was one of the most important attributes aspiring creatives should bring to Hollywood, regardless of their background, gender, or culture.
“I think the only reason I’m sitting here is because of tenacity. It’s a tough business. You really have to be able to take a hit,” noted Rosenberg. “I’ve gotten fired so many times, I can’t even count now.”
“That’s the nature of the business, it’s really hard,” she added. She says her “delusional optimism” is what kept her afloat. “You have to be able to pick yourself up and say that tomorrow is going to be better than today.”
In an earlier panel, Melissa Goodman, director of the LGBTQ, Gender and Reproductive Justice Project, ACLU of Southern California, cited some methods of increasing inclusion that have a strong track record of effectiveness in many industries — not just in Hollywood. The strategies involve setting targets for hiring, and revisiting the progress of those goals regularly. “Track the data and pay attention to it. It’s actually pretty simple,” Goodman said.