Aaron Sorkin Defends HBO Drama ‘The Newsroom’

Emily Mortimer and Allison Pill of 'The Newsroom' (Photo: HBO)

The Newsroom” is an HBO series about a cable news show that is trying to do the news right. But, funnily enough, it has been the target of an untrue story on the Internet, or so says its creator Aaron Sorkin, who denies what he calls an unsourced story that appeared on the Internet, claiming he fired his writing staff.

“The writing staff was not fired,” he told reporters at the HBO TCA panel for his series. “Just seeing that in print is scaring the hell out of the writing staff… At the end of each season, you get together with the producers to see what we can do better. A couple of changes were made. A couple of our writers assistants were promoted.”

But the alleged firing of the writing staff wasn’t the only inaccuracy in the story. According to Sorkin, the story also claimed that his ex-girlfriend Corinne Kingsbury was one of the writers who survived the purge. He wanted to make it clear that Kingsbury is not his ex-girlfriend.

“I think she is at the beginning of a very exciting career,” he said. “I would hate for this rumor that she got where she is [because of an alleged relationship with me] to follow her the rest of her life. She is very talented and [she is in the writers room because ] her sensibility is different than my own.”

Sorkin also explained that the one major change “The Newsroom” will make for its second season is to hire paid consultants on the staff. They will be from print, TV and online and from all ideological and political spectrums. No identities were revealed, as Sorkin says he wants to sign the deals first.

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He also addressed the critics in the room who did not appreciate the first four episodes of the series that have aired to date, saying, “Obviously, you prefer that the praise for the show be unanimous. But anytime people are talking this much about a show, it is good for television. One of the nice, unintended consequences of working for HBO is the whole season is locked in the can before it starts to air, so even if you are tempted to write differently to please people, you can’t do it. It is locked.”

Additionally, Sorkin told the critics that he 100 percent disagreed with those who feel that his female characters are portrayed as less smart than the men.

“I think the female characters are the equals of the men,” he says. “We plainly see them being good at their jobs. Mackenzie [Emily Mortimer] comes along and says, ‘We are going to do better.’ Then she is thrust into a breaking news situation and she handles it brilliantly.”

“The Newsroom” airs Sunday nights at 10 p.m. ET/PT on HBO.


The opinions expressed are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Comcast.

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