Sarah Schechter Talks Diversity and Journalism in the Arrowverse

After accepting her well-deserved Dan Curtis Legacy Award for her work as President of Berlanti Productions at the 44th Saturn Awards, Sarah Schechter was gracious enough to answer a few questions regarding her vision for the Arrowverse shows as well as the company’s other ongoing and upcoming projects.

Many Berlanti Productions shows have been lauded for their onscreen representation of racial diversity, especially the black-led Black Lightning. But previous years of Arrowverse shows, especially The Flash which has a black family its center and just added two more black women regulars this year, haven’t seen as much diversity behind the cameras as in front of them. When asked about the future of Arrowverse diversity behind the scenes, Schechter said, “It’s been an ongoing effort for us. Every year we have more women and people of color directing, that’s a huge priority for Greg and I. [This season] I think we’re in a really good spot.”

Schechter’s speech also tackled diversity.

Of course, they have more than the Arrowverse to look after, and Schechter was very proud of one new show in particular. “Our new show All-American has one white director for the entire first thirteen [episodes], maybe two. I think that we’ll continue to look for more talent at every level, from trying to make sure our writing staffs are diverse down to crew. The more we can reflect the diversity of the world, the better the shows will be. And the more diversity of voices that are contributing to the making of these shows, the more reflective of the world that we live in and that we want to live in.”

But racial and gender diversity aren’t the only kinds Sarah Schechter is ready to see more of, and she gushed about one of the latest additions to the cast. “We’re introducing a trans character on Supergirl and I’m very excited about that. We just cast an incredible actress, and I’m very excited to see her be a part of that world.”

Finally, she was asked about seeing more journalism for Iris West-Allen on The Flash – not to mention the characters at CatCo in National City – given the importance of the media in separating truth from fiction and how it can help spread a message of tolerance when used responsibly. Schechter was quick to suggest there would be more journalism onscreen in more than just Iris’ story. “I love journalists. Frankly, journalism is under attack in this current administration, so I think it’s more important than ever to show how heroic journalists are… So yeah, absolutely. They are the real heroes of 2018 as far as I’m concerned.”

The Arrowverse and other Berlanti Productions shows return this fall on the CW, beginning with The Flash and Black Lightning on October 9th.