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Station 19 boss Krista Vernoff tried and failed to have 25 writers credited for Thursday's powerful George Floyd episode

  • Vernoff enlisted her entire writing staff and cast to come up with ideas for Thursday's episode, which is why she didn't want it credited to a single person. As Vernoff remembers, "I said to the cast, 'I wrote the last therapy episode, I can't do this one on my own. I’m not equipped. I don’t have your life experiences. So, I’d like to ask you each to please write to me – whether you want to actually write a monologue or scene, or you just want to write me an email about what you think your character might be unpacking around this murder or what you personally unpacked around this murder, I need your input.' And then I said the same thing to the writers room and the support staff in the writers room. It’s a very diverse room and a very diverse support staff and I said, 'I’m a middle-aged white lady, I need your lived experiences here.' And everyone wrote these beautiful scenes, monologues or just emails, and I took all of that material and that’s what I was working on (back in March) because it had to be done quickly -- I had created a bit of a crisis moment. And that’s the very honest answer of how it all came together." Vernoff says received a hard no when she approached ABC Signature about crediting everybody, but she doesn't know if it was a writers' guild issue. To ensure that Thursday's episode didn't miss the mark, Vernoff had her director of diversity, equity and inclusion Kasha Foster speak candidly. "One of my big notes was, 'Please let's not use his name as a shorthand or a shortcut,'" Foster said of George Floyd. "If we're saying George Floyd in this episode, please be referring to George Floyd, the man. He's not even a year gone; his family could see this and just out of respect, if we use his name, please be talking about him." And my other thought was that this is recording a moment in history. Yes, yes, it's a TV show, but how is this show going to play in a year? How is it going to play in five years? So, I read the draft and looked at it with an eye to, "Let's use this opportunity to show the complicated truth of this moment -- the messy, painful and emotional time that it was, especially for Black people." ALSO: Station 19's end card Thursday revealed that the episode's writer is donating her script fee to Color of Change Education Fund in honor of Floyd.

    TOPICS: Station 19, ABC, George Floyd, Kasha Foster, Krista Vernoff, Black Lives Matter