After getting called out in a major way by none other than star Gillian Anderson for its lack of female writers and directors, "The X-Files" is making some behind the scenes changes, and will include two female writers and two female directors on its upcoming 11th season.
The news was confirmed during a panel with Fox Television Group chairman and CEO Dana Walden at the Television Critics Association summer press tour on Tuesday. Walden explained that "X-Files" creator and showrunner Chris Carter had already decided to hire the two women writers -- who have not yet been identified -- before news broke earlier this summer that the show would have an all-male writers' room for season 11.
"Two of the 10 episodes will be written by women, and we do have two female directors ... so I think Chris is making moves in the right direction," Walden said. The exec also added an explanation for why Carter had initially hired only men in the first place.
"I don't want to make excuses for anyone," she said. "I want to just explain that after 200 plus episodes of a show that has a very deep and specific mythology — where the fanbase has a very high expectation that the episodes are going to deliver on those easter eggs and be consistent with those original episodes — the tendency is to want to rely on the people [who] helped you on the original, when you're just doing 10 episodes. And the crew that was with Chris for a very long time happened to be a group of male writers."
That doesn't exactly change the series's existing reputation as a boys' club, with only two women directing and six women writing episodes throughout its 200-plus episode run. But at least it's taking a step in the right direction this time around. Here's hoping that that imbalance will continue to shrink if the show is renewed for season 12.
"The X-Files" returns for season 11 sometime in 2018.