SVP, Original Programming, Starz Entertainment
With her keen understanding of the value of storytelling, Fernandez focuses on growing Starz’s original programming while overseeing several series currently in development. The network has significantly ratcheted up its originals during the past few years, and Fernandez has been a steadfast and tireless champion for series including Emmy-nominated “Black Sails,” “Ash vs. Evil Dead” and “Flesh and Bone.” She’s also developing a number of Latino series including “Havana Quartet” starring Antonio Banderas, “Maleficio,” “Santeria” and “Pour Vida.” Noting all sectors of cable could do more for gender equality, she notes, “I’d like to see more women, especially women of color, in writer’s rooms, executive suites and agencies.”
Which sector of the cable industry best demonstrates gender equality? Which could use some enlightenment?
I don’t think any sector of the cable industry has achieved enough gender equality to be considered the frontrunner in this arena. I’d like to see more women, especially women of color, in writer’s rooms, executive suites and agencies.
What advice would you give your 13-year-old self?
I’d tell my 13-year-old self to embrace your heritage and to not stop speaking Spanish. My family immigrated from Spain in the late 1960s and while I was born in the US, the first language I spoke was Spanish, as I got older I only would speak English and it wasn’t until much later did I realize that being able to speak two languages and belong to two cultures is something to be celebrated not avoided.
Which current programming best reflects the kind of women’s roles you like to see and why?
I know this might seem like I’m towing the company line, but I absolutely love Claire on “Outlander.” It’s refreshing to have a strong female lead a period piece where predominantly we’ve only had these types of stories through the point of view of male characters.