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Hollywood's Graylist: Writers and Ageism : THE WRITERS : The Guild Strikes Back

December 01, 1991

T imes staff writer Nina J. Easton's article on ageism and writers in film and television ("Hey, Babes! How Old Is Too Old for Hollywood?," Nov. 17) has produced an usually large response from readers. A sampling of their views appears here and on the facing page: Easton's remarkable story is a shocking statement. What a time in the history of the entertainment business to overlook talent!

At exactly that moment of audience loss when the most creative thinking must be encouraged and brought forward, the industry appears to be consciously abandoning writers who have reached a certain age.

This suicidal practice is based on a myth: In order to reach the target audience of young people, those who write their entertainment must be their mirror image, or as close to it as possible.

Talent does not know age. Older writers are asking not for compassion but for the professional access that is being denied them throughout the industry. They know they can contribute to the revival of audiences worldwide.

DEL REISMAN

President, Writers Guild of America, West Inc.

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