Lesbian director Nisha Ganatra (Transparent, Dear White People) is directing a TNT pilot created by and starring Margaret Cho called “Highland.” The series is inspired by Cho’s struggles with substance abuse and features an all female team of creators, showrunners, star, and director. The show follows two extended, dysfunctional Korean-American families “who share the same patriarch [and] must come together after tragedy strikes. As it turns out, the most reliable person in both families is the one who just got out of rehab,” Deadline reports.
Nisha Ganatra has directed some of TV’s most critically acclaimed comedies, including “Transparent,” “Girls,” “Better Things”
Deadline also adds that just one out of 41 of this year’s broadcast drama pilots was helmed by a woman, which marks an all-time low. “And for a second consecutive year, there were no women of color directing broadcast drama or comedy pilots.” Not surprising if you are following last two years statistics of women employment status in the entertainment industry.
Earlier this year Ganatra revealed that she never mentions the fact that she’s a mother. “I’m always afraid it’s going to be held against me in some way,” she explained. “And it is. Somebody told me that when you’re a woman and you say you have kids, they assume you want to be home with kids. But when you’re a man and you say you have kids, they say oh we have to get him a job because he has a family to support.”
“Looking back, I can see [directing] was always an interest, but my parents were first generation immigrants from India,” Ganatra has said. “My mom came from a pretty small village in the North. My Dad was from Mumbai, but somehow the major film industry presence there didn’t really enter his consciousness. So, film was not a career option. It didn’t even exist for them in the realm of possibility,” she observed. “Looking back, I think I was always trying to make a video for that history presentation, so I did have an interest, but it took me so long to discover that this was even an option.”