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Aaron Sorkin Fires Back at ‘The Newsroom’ Criticism

Aaron Sorkin The Newsroom Criticism
Angela Weiss, Getty Images

Whether you love or hate HBO’s new Aaron Sorkin media drama ‘The Newsroom,’ there’s no denying that it has people talking.  That is to say, it has people arguing!  Critics of the series have been extremely vocal about the manner in which Sorkin portrays women, as well as recycles both lines and plots from his past works, as well as the recent changes to the writing staff, but what happens when Sorkin faces a room full of inquisitive reporters?

During HBO’s panel on the Television Critics Association press tour, prolific and controversial writer Aaron Sorkin took time out to address a number of concerns critics and audiences seem to have with ‘The Newsroom’ the writer’s return to serialized TV.  Sorkin attempted to hand-wave away most questions about the quality of the series, but the panel yielded some interesting results.

Speaking to the general criticism of the show, which began when HBO sent out the first four episodes to press, Sorkin said “For sure we all know that there were critics who did not enjoy watching the first 4 episodes — and there were critics that did. Anytime that people are talking this much about a television show, it’s good for television…good for people who watch television and good for people who work in television.”

Perhaps the most interesting response was Sorkin’s address of allegations that ‘The Newsroom’s female characters aren’t written as strongly as their male counterparts, which the writer flatly denied:

I 100% disagree with it. I think the female characters on the show are every bit the equals of the men…caring about other people more than themselves, [being] thoughtful, serious, plainly smart, being great team players — those to me are what define the characters, and by the way, I’d say the same thing for the actresses who play them. Once you have that down, you can have them slip on as many banana peels as you want. That’s just comedy.

One of the more recent criticisms of the show came from Sorkin apparently firing the season 1 writing staff, sparing only former girlfriend Corinne Kingsbury.  Sorkin not only denied ever dating the girl, but argued that the reports of layoffs were unfounded, but that only a few staffing changes were made as they would have been at the end of any season.  More than that, Sorkin put forth that he even promoted two writers’ assistants.

Sorkin also promised that ‘The Newsroom’ season 2 would utilize a vast array of paid consultants for its source material, as opposed to the handful used during the first season.  Finally, he confirmed that the show’s narrative would always remain approximately 9-12 months behind current events, so as to utilize real-world stories.

We’ve heard what Sorkin thinks, how about you?  Do you find the criticism leveled against ‘The Newsroom’ to be unfounded?  Give us your take on Sorkin’s drama in the comments below!

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