The Witcher showrunner discusses the process of hiring writers after an annoyed Twitter user posed a snarky question about the “incredibly talented” writers of the show.
Netflix’s The Witcher landed onto our screens last year in December and much to some people’s surprise, including my own, it was a highly successful hit. In accordance with Netflix’s earnings report from Q4 2019, The Witcher tracked to be the streaming platform’s biggest season one TV series ever. Through its first four weeks of release, 76 million member households chose to watch the action-packed fantasy starring Henry Cavill which in turn, drove up sales of The Witcher books and games around the world, and also spawned a viral musical hit. Inevitably, no matter how successful something is, you will always get that one member of the public who is displeased with your work as seen on Twitter this weekend.
The shows creator, executive producer, and showrunner Lauren Schmidt Hissrich had been discussing on Twitter the diversity in The Witcher‘s writer staff with Lauren stating that they had taken on “ten incredibly qualified people, including support staff” which included “5 women, 5 men, 3 POC, 4 ethnicities and 2 born outside the US. These numbers are distributed fairly equally, from assistants to Co-EPs” but ended the tweet with “I can always do better”. A disgruntled member of the public posed a question to Lauren in response asking “How about you educate us by explaining what makes those “incredibly talented” people so talented. Or do you expect all witcher fans to reflexively applaud diversity, even at the cost of talent?”.
How about you educate us by explaining what makes those “incredibly talented” people so talented. Or do you expect all witcher fans to reflexively applaud diversity, even at the cost of talent?
— Ethan Fitzpatrick (@ethan6180) June 7, 2020
Hissrich gladly responded to the baited tweet and went into a long thread outlining the hiring process that they used to obtain the best team possible. This list included a spectrum of writing experience from those who were new to the industry and those who had many years of expertise behind them. Lauren then went into the diversity of their writers and how life experience was a valuable asset “A POC has different experiences than a white person; men different than women; straight different than gay. Add in immigrants, adoptees, parents, the list goes on. Varied life experiences make the show richer.” Towards the end of her long tweet, Hissrich added that she “read writers blind (without their names) first. Either the writing grabbed me, or it didn’t. If it did, it went in a “yes please” pile. Once I had that pile, I looked at all the other qualifications above and made my choice.”
Ooh! I’d love to! Thanks for asking! When hiring writers for The Witcher, there were several factors I looked at to make sure we were getting the best possible team. In no particular order: https://t.co/cZ6e951yA5
— Lauren S. Hissrich (@LHissrich) June 8, 2020
Directing her final comment towards the disgruntled Tweeter user who started this long conversation off, Lauren finalized it by saying “So there’s a very serious answer to your very snarky question! Sorry you didn’t like the show, but I’m sure glad so many millions of other people did — in large part because of the very talented writers behind it.” I guess that’s them told, for now at least as people will always have strong opinions over countless issues across the board but it’s refreshing to see someone respond in a more informative and mature manner as Lauren Schmidt Hissrich did.
It’s certainly no surprise that Lauren Schmidt Hissrich is missing being with the cast given how incredible they all were in the series. In March, Netflix took the difficult but important decision to suspend production on the second season of The Witcher due to the devastating worldwide effects of the coronavirus virus but thankfully, the show’s production team will continue to be paid by Netflix during these strange and scary times. On a happier note though, season 2 is going to be made and we will, at some stage, get to lay eyes on it. As a huge Witcher fan of the game and of the TV show, this was music to my ears. Lauren S. Hissrich gushed on Twitter about her excitement that her show is being renewed stating “I could not be more proud of what the amazing cast and crew of The Witcher have accomplished, and can’t wait for the world to dig in and enjoy these stories with us,” whilst attaching an image of two swords from the show to her tweet as well.
Be sure to check out our own review for the Netflix series The Witcher here. If gaming is more your style, The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt is available now on PS4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, and PC.