‘American Crime Story’ crew members speak out about ‘pressure cooker’ production

Crew members for the women’s version of the first series of American Crime Story, Katheryn Winnick’s “A Wrinkle in Time,” alleged a “high turnover rate” on the set of the television program. A group of nine crew members sent a lengthy letter to the New York Times citing grievances regarding the way the production was run, ranging from a “chaotic” setting to “chaos,” “ridicule,” and bullying. “We thought ‘red flags,’” the letter said, referring to issues of diversity on the set, had been addressed earlier. In response, series producers, John Legend and his wife, Chrissy Teigen, sent a response, noting that the administration on the show was known for “working tirelessly to find every single opportunity” to recruit women and minority crew members. “With the most complex and challenging production we’ve ever had, we were not making a huge budget or huge schedules with a lot of luck,” they added. “It did not mean that the (female) crew weren’t our priority — nor does it mean it is not true.”

According to E! News, Winnick and the other “WTF crew members” met with the show’s PR team to address the matters raised in the letter. The Wrinkle in Time production — which includes production chief Lauren Vittner — and Vittner sent the group an email with five points of advice to clear up the misconceptions they felt arose from the letter. “Laughter and levity when working,” was one of the recommendations. “There’s no pretending things are not stressful, and there’s no pretending, they are stressful,” was another.

“As I read the letter, I’m feeling so shocked and disappointed in you,” Winnick said in a statement to Entertainment Weekly. “The letter is just a compilation of many mixed messages, many pieces of hearsay and conjecture and sarcasm, misreading and failing to contextualize what was said.” She added, “It was not written to represent the team, this is one actor versus nine actors.”

Winnick’s character, Mrs. Who, is played by Oprah Winfrey in the miniseries. Although Winnick and the other “WTF crew members” did not appear in a promotional clip released for the miniseries, Vittner claimed they’d sent in stories from “the most experienced crew on A Wrinkle in Time,” in order to defend themselves in an attempt to appease the concerns of those who felt ignored. According to Vittner, Winnick and the others who were in the pre-production phase of the show, had not even seen the finished product yet.

Read the full story at E! News.


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