Los Angeles - Despite HBO's trepidations, Aaron Sorkin appeared at the TCA press tour here Wednesday to defend his new drama The Newsroom to a roomful of reporters who have been quite critical of the series.
Sorkin fought back especially the notion that The Newsroom's female characters are portrayed as professionally and personally weak, which has been one of the fiercest critiques of the series.
"I completely respect that opinion but I 100 percent disagree with it," he said. "The female characters are equals of the men. They're not just talked about as good at their job they're plainly seen as good at."
Sorkin cited examples like Mackenzie, the newcast's executive producer (played by Emily Mortimer), as jumping on a breaking story in the first episode and criticizing anchor Will McAvoy (played by Jeff Daniels) for pandering, or economic correspondent Sloane (played by Olivia Munn) initially offering her promotion to primetime to someone else.
He also defended his characters as equals in making mistakes, saying that Newsroom's male characters screw up just as much as their female counterparts.
"We present Will's mission to civilize as something people always roll their eyes at and something blows up in his face," Sorkin said. "Hubris on this show is always punished."
Sorkin admitted to reading the reviews of his show, though he says he won't change the writing for season two to adjust for the criticism.
"I've only ever tried to write the way I write. I haven't tried to figure out what it is that most people will like," he said.