Quote of the Day: ‘American Crime’ Writer Julie Hébert on Why Diversity in the Writers Room Matters

Regina King - AMERICAN CRIME"American Crime Story," the limited series that explores issues of race, class and justice through the lens of one story per season, received 10 Emmy nominations for its debut year. 

Season 2 premiered on ABC on Wednesday, January 6, and in a new profile of staff writer Julie Hébert, she credited the show’s strength to its diverse writers room. 

“After having been in so many writers rooms with not only white guys, but straight white males, not a lot of women, and certainly not a lot of people of color, the writers room for ‘American Crime’ is incredibly diverse,” said Hébert. “The room has a completely different tone, and it’s so interesting to me that there’s actually diversity in the stories and the experiences and the point of view of the writers. Eventually, all of that makes it into the show. It was striking to me, the controversial subjects we were discussing."

“I think [creator] John [Ridley] and [executive producer] Michael J. McDonald had that in mind when they pulled this all together," she said, explaining how change came from the top. "I think one of the things they wanted to show the world is that this kind of diverse writing room can produce the same high-quality product that the very experienced, more entitled, wealthy, middle-class, experienced white guys can. We’ve been very proud of that. It’s been just an incredible experience for me — all the women in the room, all the people of color, gay people. It’s just been really great to see that diversity is valued in such a direct way.

“It’s not about political correctness," she continued. "It’s not about quotas. It’s about relating society as it is, and therefore having discussions with people from all walks of life. The product is actually more reflective of our society.”

[via The Advocate]