Thursday, August 18, 2016
Years ago a showrunner I had a great relationship with fired a writer that was truly like a brother to me. I was incensed that he would do what I considered to be such a cruel and stupid thing. So I hopped a plane, walked onto the production lot, up the stairs as quickly as I could, walked into his office, closed the door and literally screamed at & with him for 30 minutes. He had made the decision, not the networks, and I was livid and not backing down. Neither was he. He rattled off reasons and I made excuses. And then we both just stopped talking. It was quiet. The type of quiet that is hard to explain. I was mad, he felt bad because he understood how hurt I felt and we were both out of things to say. We sat there quietly just looking at each other for a really long time. Then I walked down the stairs onto the set and visited with my friends on the crew, went back to my hotel and had dinner & lots of drinks with some writers and called it a night. The next four days on set I avoided the showrunner as much as possible but before I left to head home he told me that one day I would understand and it was okay to feel the way I felt. We never discussed it again on my future visits. Neither of us had anything else to say that the other would want to hear but we stayed close and put it in a box. Several years later, when he was no longer the showrunner, I visited him at his new office on the old Disney lot and I apologized. Years had shown me that the writer was not the man I thought I knew so well. He was toxic and even after my giving him chance after chance to prove to me he was the man I had fought so hard for I had to admit to myself that he wasn't. I cut him out of my life which was hard for me to do but there were too many broken promises and too many lies. He is a brilliant writer. Nobody can take that away from him but he is not the man the public, or I, thought he was. Just because you have amazing talent doesn't mean you belong "in the room". When you make others uncomfortable, talk smack and treat others badly, your talent doesn't factor in. Nobody deserves the right to create a hostile work environment for others. Not even one of the best TV writers in the business. Nobody has that right. Not actors, writers, crew members or the office workers. Not even someone I considered a brother.