An Actress's Thoughts

Who told Germany’s Top Cop Dramas 2011-14

Who told Germany’s Top Cop Dramas 2011-14?

Statistics on Directing, Script and Main Cast

It is Monday. Those believing in TV ratings are talking about last night’s figures and as always the weekly Sunday night Cop Drama TATORT is eminent.
Lately a number of TATORT films have tried to break out of the old frame, by including more action elements and an especially large number of murders for example. No one really has tried to break through the old gender stereotypes though, as three comments on last night’s episode FREDDY TANZT (Freddy is Dancing – director Andreas Kleinert, script Jürgen Werner) show:

habicht @habichthorn
Child “I am not a pumpkin*.” Police inspector “Then you are probably a princess.” – Great perception of women once again. #tatort

habicht @habichthorn
I hope the child will kick the inspector in the shin if he calls her princess one more time. #tatort

Sue Reindke @HappySchnitzel
The new female assistant has to clean up everything and make the coffee. Stereotypes have been funnier than this. #Tatort

*In Germany little girls are regularly called Maus (mouse) or Kleine Maus (little mouse), the boys are called Kleiner Mann (little man). I think though that mouse has another meaning in English, therefore I changed it to pumpkin.

“In his/her film X Director y is telling the story of…“ is something we hear regularly. But I think in reality the stories are told in a great deal by the script writers. Or to put it this way: it is not so easy to ruin a truly great script, but the other way around, i.e. if the script tells a story set in retro reality with actions and dialogues full of old gender stereotypes, then it will be quite difficult for directors male or female (and for the cast) to go against that.
I really hope that the VDD, the German Scriptwriters’ Guild, will some time soon commission a diversity report on scripts in German film and TV, like the report that was published by the directors’ guild BVR last year. All my evaluations have shown that female scriptwriters are very much underrepresentated in German productions. Their share is far below 50 % (the share of women in society) but also clearly below the 41,7 % share of women in the VDD and in the database of crew united (36,9 %).

Today’s two figures show
A) The shares of women for directing and scriptwriting in all TATORTE TV premieres of 2011 to 2014. The female directors on the 4-year-average account for less than 10 %, the female scriptwriters less than 20 %.
B) The shares of women and main for the main casts of the TATORTE in that time. ‚As usual’ female roles are the minority. In how far they are written as being retroreal stereotypes is something that cannot be evaluated easily. So that is a topic for another day.


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