Mo Ryan Profile picture
Contributing Editor, Vanity Fair. Other bylines: NY Times, EW, Vulture, GQ, Salon, THR, Variety, HuffPost. Journalist, writer, artist, witch 🌈 💚 She/her
12 May
THREAD. For some time, I’ve been speaking to people from the drama All Rise, which is made by Warner Bros & aired by CBS. I ultimately spoke with 30 people, 18 of whom worked directly with EP/showrunner Greg Spottiswood.
Spottiswood was fired as showrunner of All Rise March 24, not long after Warner Bros learned I was working on this story. This @salon piece on Spottiswood’s alleged conduct, his firing & much more, represents several months of work. I hope you’ll read it: salon.com/2021/05/12/he-…
I’ve done many similar stories. This is the longest one yet. Here's why: What occurred at All Rise may help illuminate things. The industry as a whole still has a long way to go when it comes to inclusion, treatment of women, matters of culture, race, respect & professionalism.
Read 23 tweets
1 Feb
In recent years, Evan Rachel Wood has spoken out about abuse at the hands of an unnamed ex. Today she breaks that silence: “The name of my abuser is Brian Warner, also known as Marilyn Manson.” Four other women have come forward regarding Manson as well. vanityfair.com/hollywood/2021…
Evan Rachel Wood today: “I am here to expose this dangerous man and call out the many industries that have enabled him, before he ruins any more lives. I stand with the many victims who will no longer be silent.”
Wood & 4 other women (so far) allege sexual assault, psychological abuse, and various forms of coercion, violence, and intimidation from Manson. These 5 women speak of PTSD, anxiety & other ongoing fallout from their experiences. But they also say it was important to come forward
Read 8 tweets
26 Jan
Every person who works in PR for TV & film should read this. Obv editors at many publications too. But this kind of PR gatekeeping is keeping talented critics & writers from marginalized communities -- especially POC -- on the sidelines or driving them out medium.com/swlh/gatekeepi…
I'm white, I have a track record at known outlets, so even as a freelancer, I automatically get or *can* get most TV screeners. I have heard SO MANY tales of Black, Asian, disabled, queer, Latinx critics--among others--having major obstacles to getting them. It's a major problem.
Add to that even more obstacles to getting on: Red carpets. Other premiere events. Panels. During the pandemic, just getting screeners, having interview requests granted, being among first to be able to cover TV/films. The gatekeeping & obstacles are CONSTANT to marginalized folk
Read 6 tweets
25 Jan
I was lucky enough to serve on #AFIAwards jury again. PLOT TWIST: Everyone on 2020 jury considered both TV & film (that was eligible; FYI some shows/movies not eligible, I literally don't make the rules). Anyway I can now issue a ruling on whether film or TV is better... 1/2
...unexpected development: They are both Good.
#Minari, #Nomadland, #BetterCallSaul, #OneNightInMiami, #TheGoodLordBird, #TedLasso, #TheCrown, #SoundofMetal #TheQueensGambit = just a few of the projects on the 2020 roster of #AFIAWARDS. They are excellent! Listen to Ted! 👇afi.com/news/afi-award…
Read 4 tweets
23 Jan
Regret to inform you that President Biden issued an executive order today. There’s a minimum 1-year ban on starting your episode of television with an in media res action sequence putting key characters in unexplained jeopardy, followed by the on-screen words “36 hours earlier”
The text of the executive order reads as follows: “I love you knuckleheads but you have all overused this trope. It was once fun, but it got out of hand a long time ago. I’ll ban this malarkey for a decade if I need to!”
Sources close to the administration report that there is one exception to this ban: If a series has supplied a minimum of 3.5 seasons of consistently good television, that series gets to use this device ONCE. As a treat.
Read 4 tweets
10 Jul 20
I support @emilyvdw.
I do not support those who use weak, strawman arguments to prop up intolerance & transphobia. Especially if some making those arguments have silenced and harmed marginalized communities. And have massive platforms with which to do so. #TransLivesMatter
A powerful layer of established people cannot stand that newer forms of media have given voice to those they’d comfortably ignored in the past. These high status folks do everything in their power to delegitimize & discredit voices they don’t like while bleating about free speech
Should established folks be able to share their opinions? Sure. They already do! To them the bigger problem is they do not solely control the discourse anymore &that makes them nervous& angry. So they dress up their gatekeeping in noble principles. Nice trick, not falling for it.
Read 5 tweets
19 Jun 20
Nicole Beharie on #SleepyHollow: “Sometimes I think that some people I was working with didn’t like that I was unwell but loved by the audience. ...everyone of color on that show was seen as expendable and eventually let go.” Yes. That happened in real time & it was so awful.
I think a lot about the many terrible decisions made & thus enabled from on high at #sleepyhollow. Black women boosted SH online/on social media & helped make it a phenomenon. Watching their hearts get broken in real time is one of the worst things I ever witnessed as a critic.
2 leads had great chemistry, but #SleepyHollow was one of the few genre shows I ever saw w Black sisters as a core relationship. The excitement when folks saw how that was central to the mythology! Over time, that relationship got less time so a white witch could... be useless.
Read 17 tweets
17 Jun 20
Been working hard on something that means a lot to me, so a thread is incoming!
Some Hollywood TV studios came after the pay of lowest-level assistants & support staff after the pandemic hit. For @vanityfair, I talked to 20+ industry people abt what happened, 1 studio changing course & why this affects marginalized folks most severely vanityfair.com/hollywood/2020…
Many assistants I spoke to said their income fell by a third to a *half*. And these folks were already not making much. And contrary to what some above them might think, for support staff, working remotely *not* easier/faster +
vanityfair.com/hollywood/2020…
Read 28 tweets
27 May 20
Adding to this thread on a pattern of misconduct -- and coverups -- at one entertainment media conglomerate. This 2 yr old thread is on CBS. But these ingrained patterns can (and do) exist all over the industry. Some context for this Criminal Minds development:
In 2018, Variety's @gdanielholloway reported on a years-long pattern of alleged abuse by DP of Criminal Minds. 19 sources on "a toxic environment on set, groping male staffers, threatening them physically, and firing anyone who complained" per Dan's story variety.com/2018/tv/news/c…
Not long after that first CM story, @gdanielholloway reported on how below the line crew are especially at risk re Hollywood-style abusive/toxic behaviors. This is a story the media has barely touched on, but it's important. variety.com/2018/biz/news/…
Read 11 tweets
14 Mar 20
Drafting off @gavinpurcell thread on anxiety, I'm going to do a thread on the group of strategies I've used to manage my anxiety/panic disorder/PTSD. You might use a different array of things, I applaud that. Do what works for you. Here's some of what worked for me. (deep breath)
About 15-16 years ago, anxiety/panic/PTSD damage ruled my life. It was awful. I was an a very bad headspace. Depression too at the time. Xanax was not a good fit for me. In desperation, began meditating every day using Jon Kabat-Zinn's "Wherever You Go, There You Are" as a guide
this is meant to be maybe a little bit of a help during this virus time, so me saying "therapy was key also" is maybe not helpful. But if you can find a good therapist and/or do phone/skype sessions, try it? I truly think my therapist at the time saved my life. It was bad.
Read 21 tweets
9 Oct 19
Re-upping this. Why does Andrew Lack of NBC News still have a job? His Megyn Kelly gambit = failure, NBC News may well have sat on Access Hwd tape, he got rid of Ronan's Weinstein story--ON TOP of allegedly covering for Lauer & others harassers. WHAT MAKES THIS DUDE WORTH IT??
The fact that Noah Oppenheim and Andrew Lack are still employed in positions of great power and making a lot of money tells you all you need to know about whether #MeToo has "gone too far."
"After Lauer’s firing, she learned that Noah Oppenheim, the president of NBC News, and Andrew Lack, the chairman of NBC News and MSNBC, “were emphasizing that the incident hadn’t been ‘criminal’ or an ‘assault’” — which she claims caused her to throw up, Farrow writes."
Read 5 tweets
29 Jan 19
Adding to this ongoing thread. I’ve written a piece for @Vulture, just published, which contains new information about CBS, HR investigations, Eliza Dushku and the recent firing of an EP at a CBS program that has endured notable amount of turmoil: vulture.com/2019/01/adam-t…
CBS recently concluded an HR investigation into an exec producer who joined NCIS New Orleans last spring. This EP, Adam Targum, was fired Fri Jan 25. He was the drama's 2nd in command. This was the 4th investigation into an NCIS NOLA EP in 2.5 years. vulture.com/2019/01/adam-t…
Also in this @Vulture news story: Eliza Dushku’s name was mentioned to CBS HR by 3 CBS staffers midway through 2016 — many months before she appeared on Bull, where she was allegedly harassed by the show’s star in 2017 & later got a $9.5mill settlement vulture.com/2019/01/adam-t…
Read 18 tweets
29 Nov 18
*THREAD* One thing I thought about when I read this story: Most of the executives, EPs, etc who came up & were rewarded within the culture Les Moonves created are still at CBS. Are they all bad? No. Is CBS "fixed" now that Les is gone? Far fucking from it. nytimes.com/2018/11/28/bus…
I got time today. So let's take a trip in the wayback machine. I'm going to do a timeline on all the major reporting on alleged misconduct by various individuals at CBS. Ahem, "alleged." [stares into the distance meaningfully] Here we go:
Last November, allegations surfaced regarding Jeremy Piven, then the star of a (later cancelled) CBS program, Wisdom of the Crowd. Allegations detailed here usatoday.com/story/life/peo… and here buzzfeednews.com/article/krysti…
Read 57 tweets
2 Oct 18
Brad Kern, a CBS producer who was the subject of three investigations into allegations of abuse and harassment, has been fired. His contract was terminated yesterday. hollywoodreporter.com/live-feed/ncis…
The first story I did on Brad Kern, which revealed (last December) that he had been the subject of 2 different CBS HR investigations variety.com/2017/tv/news/b…
The second story I did on Brad Kern, which revealed that, despite the two HR investigations and media coverage of "toxicity" in the workplace, bullying of a nursing mom & more, CBS gave him a new 2 year deal in spring of 2018 hollywoodreporter.com/live-feed/brad…
Read 11 tweets
3 Sep 18
Ageism is an enormous factor in Hollywood. Ageism is terrible for WOC, bad for WW, not good for WM. There are layers to it, but yeah, if you're over a certain age, you are fighting for scraps around the edges (if that). Wrote about it re actresses here hollywoodreporter.com/live-feed/fear…
Here's what I'd say to studio and network execs: Do you know the composition of all your shows' assistant staffs? Who are your staff writers? Those are the showrunners and Emmy winners of tomorrow. If they're mostly white, connected, debt-free rich kids.... 😬
Here are some numbers I'll never forget: I did the stats on bcast network showrunners for 2016-2017 season. 80% WM showrunners for new shows. For one particular network: Number of women of color showrunners--1. Number of sons of one prominent executive--2.
Read 7 tweets
31 Aug 18
Thread alert. Louis CK had almost a year to think about what he'd say in his first public appearance. He had lots of time to think about every word he'd say. He decided one of his jokes had to be about rape. I still can't believe that. And I wrote this: hollywoodreporter.com/live-feed/loui…
When you are a woman and you write about sexual violence, assault, harassment and setting boundaries, you get abuse. I've gotten a lot in the last 24 hours. MOST of the response to that piece has been heartening. But I'd love for folks to read this thread. Because...
There's a terrifying lack of understanding (some willful, some ignorance) about what constitutes rape, assault, harassment & why those things are damaging. Lot of emails/replies saying "it wasn't rape, shut up." Like jerking off is a normal thing people do at parties, at work.
Read 19 tweets
27 Jul 18
Before @RonanFarrow’s @NewYorker story on Les Moonves comes out later today, I’m going to re-up the reporting on a CBS showrunner who has been retained by the network despite multiple investigations into alleged harassment, retaliation and racially insensitive comments. First, 1/
@RonanFarrow @NewYorker In December, I reported this story for @variety about NCIS NOLA showrunner Brad Kern. 13 sources. They said, among other things, he allegedly harassed a nursing mother, continually made sexist remarks and made comments sources perceived as racist. google.com/amp/s/variety.…
@RonanFarrow @NewYorker @Variety In May, @McTelevision of @salon reported Kern was no longer NCIS NOLA showrunner, but was still going to work on the show every day. salon.com/2018/05/16/exc…
Read 12 tweets
5 Mar 18
Thread. Few things about the Ryan Seacrest situation. First, here @Variety reporter @gdanielholloway's first story on the years of alleged abuse RS subjected a woman to. She told her story using her name. Her job ended after she reported him to HR in 2013 variety.com/2018/tv/news/r…
Second: This is for people saying "But it was investigated and nothing was found." Incorrect. Two important facts: 1. His employer hired another firm to do the investigation. Not a truly independent third party. Investigator's payment came from E!, where Seacrest is a big deal.
As for firm that did the Seacrest investigation: Their finding was “insufficient evidence” of wrongdoing. Whatever that means. As for corroboration, @gdanielholloway talked to many other sources & another employee told NBC he witnessed alleged abuse variety.com/2018/tv/news/s…
Read 9 tweets
12 Sep 17
If you’re trying to change the numbers, never give up the good fight. Because the industry is resistant to changing its story & itself. 16/
OK, back to day drinking for me. That Boxed In TV stats story link again variety.com/2017/tv/news/w… Thanks for listening! /fin
Read 4 tweets
12 Sep 17
What I’m trying to convey is — I read every study that comes out. For years now. *yearsss* YAY to bits of progress there are. major YAY. 10/
BUT yrs of reading SDSU study, Annenberg studies, WGA studies, DGA stats — lead to 1 conclusion. Change is v slow IF it happens at all. 11/
CHANGE DOES NOT OCCUR IN MANY TV REALMS. IT OCCURS VERY SLOWLY OR *NOT AT ALL*. ANECDOTAL SUCCESS STORIES ARE NOT THE WHOLE STORY. 12/
Read 7 tweets
12 Sep 17
Indulge a tweetstorm pls (story link to come). No industry is more prone to confirmation bias than TV/entertainment industry, I find. 1/
It’s an industry of storytellers, and so many (execs, actors, writers, artisans) envision themselves as the hero/heroine of a quest. 2/
That’s swell when talking about fictional worlds created. V bad when people spin stories for themselves about inclusion, representation. 4/
Read 9 tweets