BBC America is one of the fastest-growing entertainment networks in the US, and Barnett is a big reason why. This industry vet, who spent 12 years with the BBC in London before coming to the AMC Networks fold, knows the brand through and through. This year marked the most new BBCA series premieres ever, and what a batch they were. “Killing Eve” picked up a couple Emmy nominations, including a historic nom for lead Sandra Oh. The revamped “Doctor Who” is blazing new trails with a female in the title role. All more proof that Barnett is a champion of female empowerment. Of Me Too, Barnett says, ”It’s evident that challenge is felt to be improper, unreasonable and unruly by those who hold power, even when it is very clear that the playing field is far from level… If this is truly a movement and not a moment, it has only just begun.”
What are your thoughts on the industry’s current response to the Me Too movement, and its treatment of men who have been accused of sexual harassing and/or assaulting women and men? Are there other steps you feel should be taken?
It’s evident that challenge is felt to be improper, unreasonable and unruly by those who hold power, even when it is very clear that the playing field is far from level. Despite the questioning of whether things “have gone too far,” if this is truly a movement and not a moment, it has only just begun.
Do you see any potential backlash to the Me Too/Time’s Up movements?
Of course. Power will always work to protect itself, consciously or otherwise. There’s interesting writing right now around who’s afforded the more credible status as “victim” (hint: it’s not women.)
Who is an inspirational woman you admire, and why?
So friggin many. Randomly right now: Rebecca Traister’s writing on women’s anger rings clear as a bell; Padma Lakshmi is real, smart and forthright; Sandra Oh’s wise, compassionate engagement is rad. Patti Smith, Hannah Gadsby, Emma Gonzalez, Lena Waithe, Phoebe Waller Bridge all blow my mind with their truth.