Thank you for your excellent reporting [“NBC Pushes to Get Female Directors,” Aug. 4] and for continuing to illuminate gender equity in Hollywood.
As a former chair of the DGA Women’s Steering Committee (who has directed more than 60 hours of episodic television), I would like to bring to the attention of our industry that there are more than 1,300 experienced, midcareer female directors in the guild. While it is true that only about 50 of these women are represented by agents, making the rest virtually invisible to those who hire, there are, in fact, hundreds of accomplished female directors, some with Emmys and Oscars, ready, willing and able to call “Action!”
Meryl Streep sponsors a program for midcareer, female writers, and the WGA has made enormous strides supporting the careers of their experienced female writers, but in the television director landscape the persistent belief that there are not enough trained directors is simply false, a huge injustice to women who have already been injured by decades of gender exclusion.
Training new directors is no doubt an important element in creating a wider talent pool, but there is a highly skilled labor force that already exists, ignored for too long. It’s high time for the industry to employ these accomplished women and for the agencies to do their part in representing them. We’re not hard to find.
L.A. loves Randy Newman
Regarding “Randy Newman Puts His Own Twist on Putin and Life Today” [Aug. 6]: Reading your article I had a thought. If Randy Newman is underappreciated perhaps the Eagles are overappreciated?
Great writing about Randy Newman. You got it right.
Critiques, not lectures, please
Regarding “Tale of ‘Meth and Modernism’” [Aug. 6]: Would The Times kindly change Christopher Hawthorne’s title to Architectural Lecturer and hire an actual architectural critic who critiques architecture and whose mission it is to improve the quality of architecture in L.A.? I think such a move would be of great benefit to our city.
Appreciating Barbara Cook
Regarding “Cook Made Song Lyrics All Her Own” [Aug. 9]: I am so sorry to hear about Barbara Cook’s passing. I too saw her for the first time at the Café Carlyle when you did. I had heard and read about her, but nothing prepared me for the power and beauty of her singing. Since then I have seen her about three or four times in Los Angeles.
I also saw Elaine Stritch many times here in L.A. Her last performance at Disney Hall was so painful to watch. I had to leave after the intermission. And with Glen Campbell’s passing, the musical and vocal talents of three luminaries are lost.
Your piece today is an absolute masterwork and a stunning evocation of precisely what we’ve lost with her passing. What she did for song, you have done for her. Thank you.
Thank you for your beautiful love letter to Barbara Cook.
He didn’t start the fire. Right.
Reading the story about Gary Richards [“Hard Summer’s Gary Richards Has Learned How to Cope With Constant Change,” July 30] reminds me of the guy who organized a pyromaniac’s convention, brought in mega-samples of matches and gasoline, watched the building burn down, then blamed everyone else for letting people in and not having enough firetrucks. It’s like he’s 47 years old going on 10.
A boycott of President Trump
Norman Lear says he will boycott a White House reception for his Kennedy Center Honors [“Lear: No to Trump White House,” Aug. 5]. The whole point of “All in the Family” was that everybody should get along. It appears that the incorrigible Archie Bunker was modeled on Lear himself, unable to get along with everyone.
If there is an award that honors integrity, I nominate Norman Lear.
Kudos to Norman Lear for his response to the reception to be held for Kennedy Center honorees at the White House in December.
Declining the invitation by a president who attempts to denigrate the arts speaks loudly and clearly, but I fear Trump will not hear the roar of disapproval in Lear’s nonacceptance of the invitation. Mr. Lear has once again proven himself to be worthy of the honor to be bestowed that bears the name of a president who honored and valued the arts.
Recalling artist as a young man
Reading “It’s Not Just Any Brillo Box” [Aug. 7] brought back to me a memory from 1949 when I worked in a book publishing house in New York, where I met artists seeking work designing book covers. It was the policy to have them wait in the outer office until called. I recall a 19- or 20-year-old Andy Warhol — with a sheaf of brown red hair across his forehead and brown rimmed glasses — waiting patiently for his turn. I would assure him his chance would come and he was very patient.
Guest conductor gets her support
Your typically biased article regarding Dennis Prager and his volunteering to conduct the Santa Monica Symphony Orchestra [“Taking Up the Baton and Debate,” Aug. 9] made me so angry that I just donated money to his website.