The Case of Amy Sherman-Palladino, 02.25.01 ...
The following article was found posted on a Yahoo! Club for Gilmore Girls by a user with the name "rickemerson." It is titled "WB’s ‘Girls’ are really boys" and is allegedly written by Glenda Ruben of The Associated Press. The article makes accusations that Amy Sherman-Palladino, Gilmore Girls' creator, is just a fictitious name representing a writing collective of Aaron Sorkin (The West Wing), Patrick Caddell (The West Wing), and Kevin Falls (Sports Night).
After first reading the article, I didn't know what to think. In hopes of finding more information on whether or not the article was legit, I searched all of the Net's top news sites (Yahoo.com, AssociatedPress.com, PRNewswire.com, LATimes.com, NYTimes.com) in order to find the article printed by a reliable news source. After coming up with nothing, I went directly to the Associate Press to find answers.
I sent e-mail about the subject to two Associated Press addresses, but realizing how much mail they must get, I thought calling the company would get quicker results. After dialing the Associated Press' main number, 212-621-1500, I asked the receptionist if they had a writer on staff named Glenda Ruben. When the receptionist looked it up on computer, she told me there were no articles in their archieves written by a Glenda Ruben.
Two days after e-mailing the Associated Press, I received a response stating that there was:
NO Glenda Ruben in the database.
AP Corporate Communications/NY
Date: Tue, 27 Feb 2001 10:14:33
From: AP Corporate Communications
Even with those confirmations that the story was false, I wanted more information before I publicly announced my opinion on GilmoreGirls.org. The article by Glenda Ruben states that the name Amy Sherman-Palladino is just a pseudonym, meaning a fictitious name. In order to prove that Amy Sherman-Palladino is more that just a name, I again searched the Net to prove otherwise. I quickly found a story written by Alex Strachan of the Vancouver Sun that states, "At the recent semi-annual gathering of the Television Critics Association in Pasadena, Calif., Gilmore Girls creator and executive producer Amy Sherman-Palladino pointed out that the show was created long before the Family Friendly Forum climbed on the bandwagon. The foundation appreciated Gilmore Girls for its humanity and heartfelt take on life's issues ..." The article goes on to say that, "Sherman-Palladino ... was nominated for an Emmy and won a Peabody Award for her work as a writer and producer on Roseanne." Obviously, "fake" people aren't nominated for Emmy and Peabody Awards.
The article "WB’s ‘Girls’ are really boys" is very well written and someone obviously spent a lot of time working on it. (It is even formatted in the same style as Associated Press news stories.) But given the facts that I can only find one source of the article, that Amy Sherman-Palladino has been in the entertainment business over ten years (with jobs writing on Roseanne and Veronica's Closet), and that the Associated Press told me there was no one on staff with the name Glenda Ruben, I am going to have to say that I believe the story is just a very elaborate fake. Whether or not the "WB’s ‘Girls’ are really boys" was created by the studios to generate publicity or by a fan just for kicks, I don't know. Either way, the story is interesting.
Do you have your own opinions on the story? E-mail me your comments, questions, and suggestions and I may choose to add them to the site.
WB’s ‘Girls’ are really boys
Glenda Ruben - The Associated Press
2/23/01 6:34 AM
Los Angeles, CA. (AP) -- Fans of The West Wing who revel in the political drama’s razor-sharp dialogue and snappy timing may have to add another show to their “must-see” list. West Wing creator and writer Aaron Sorkin, whom many credit with re-inventing the hour-long drama format, has been unmasked as the primary voice behind another critically-praised show, the WB Network’s The Gilmore Girls. Sorkin’s production company released a short statement Thursday acknowledging the Emmy winner’s participation in The Gilmore Girls as a writer and occasional director, but noted, “[The] Gilmore Girls is very much a team effort, and Aaron’s participation is just one of the many ingredients that have combined to create such a wonderful program.” Sorkin’s script and story contributions had been credited to “Amy Sherman-Palladino”, a pseudonym representing a writing collective of Sorkin, fellow West Wing scribe Patrick Caddell, and former Sports Night scribe Kevin Falls. Unlike directors, who, under union guidelines must use one of a limited number of pseudonyms, writers are free to use any name they choose---even if it’s no name at all. No reason for the pseudonym was given, though many viewers suspect that the WB, starved for female viewers, may have wanted an air of “female legitimacy” around the fledging Gilmore Girls. Neither Caddell nor Falls were available for comment, and the network itself has yet to do more than confirm Sorkin’s statement.
Viewers began noticing similarities between the nearly from the beginning, and although neither network would comment on the comparisons, avid watchers filled message boards and chat rooms with speculation about Sorkin’s possible involvement. Far from expressing anger at the ruse, most fans seem to be taking the revelation in stride, with Girls fan McKee Norris noting online, “I knew it! My friends all thought I was crazy because I thought the dialogue was so much the same. It’s a relief to know I was right all along!!!”
This is far from the first time a writer of Sorkin’s stature has been uncredited for his on-screen
contributions. Filmmakers Quentin Tarantino, Kevin Smith, and Joe Ezsterhas have all written or re-written film scripts without credit; Sorkin himself performed uncredited rewrites on The Rock, Bulworth, and Excess Baggage.
No word was given on whether the use of “Amy Sherman-Palladino” as an on-screen name would continue.
The West Wing airs Wednesday nights at 9pm on NBC; The Gilmore Girls airs Thursday nights at 8pm on the WB Network.
Copyright 2001 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
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