Jessica Chastain Blasts CBS for Lack of Female Leads in Fall Lineup

JessicaChastainFemaleCBS
EuropaCorp

Actress Jessica Chastain slammed CBS on social media Thursday over the network’s lack of female leads in shows slated for its fall lineup.

“I’ll just @netflix and chill. Or some @HBO greatness. Or anything by #RyanMurphy,” Chastain tweeted Wednesday, linking to an article about how CBS failed to produce a single fall show with a female lead. “There’s so many incredible options that don’t include @CBS.”

The network has faced fierce criticism for months over its lack of racial diversity in its programming, most recently after Asian-American Hawaii Five-0 stars Daniel Dae Kim and Grace Park reportedly left the long-running CBS show over a salary dispute with the network, after the pair were allegedly offered less money than their white co-stars.

CBS senior executive vice president of programming Thom Sherman addressed the controversy Tuesday during a press event at the Television Critics Association tour in Beverly Hills.

“We are cognizant of the issue, we hear you and we will be looking to expand the casting department,” he said.

(L-R) Executive producers Akiva Goldsman, Heather Kadin, Gretchen Berg, Aaron Harberts, and Alex Kurtzman, and actors James Frain, Sonequa Martin, Mary Chieffo, and Jason Isaacs of ‘Star Trek: Discovery’ speak onstage during the CBS portion of the 2017 Summer Television Critics Association Press Tour at CBS Studio Center on August 1, 2017 in Los Angeles. (Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images)

Executive producer/showrunner Ted Humphrey and actors Jake Matthews, Monica Potter, Jeremy Piven, Richard T. Jones, Natalia Tena, and Blake Lee of ‘Wisdom of the Crowd’ speak onstage during the CBS portion of the 2017 Summer Television Critics Association Press Tour at CBS Studio Center on August 1, 2017 in Los Angeles. (Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images)

But Sherman’s remarks sound similar to those made a year ago by former CBS’ chief executive Glenn Geller, who had acknowledged then that the network needed to “do better” in terms of diversity.

“I’m really glad this question came up first because we’re very mindful at CBS of the importance of diversity and inclusion,” Geller told reporters at the Television Critics Association press tour last August. The network was facing fire for all-white fall TV shows at the time.

“We need to do better and we know it. That’s really it, we need to do better. In terms of leads we are definitely less diverse this year than last year, and like I said we need to do better,” Geller said.

Chastain also slammed the “disturbing” way in which women were portrayed in films at the Cannes Film Festival.

“I really took away from this experience is how the world views women from the female characters that I saw represented,” Chastain said in May. “It was quite disturbing to me, to be honest — there are some exceptions.”

 

Follow Jerome Hudson on Twitter @jeromeehudson

.

Please let us know if you're having issues with commenting.