Diversity and inclusion, both on and off the screen
Renowned television producer, director, writer, and founder of Little Chicken Productions, Ilene Chaiken has been an industry pioneer in bringing marginalized voices and story lines to mainstream TV. From creating Showtimes The L Word, TV's first ensemble cast depicting gay women, to serving as an executive producer on FOX's Empire and Hulu's The Handmaids Tale, Chaiken takes characters who are typically underrepresented and over-simplified, and brings them centerstage in all their complicated, nuanced, light.
Chaiken believes the creative process and politics are inextricably linked. In these empowering remarks she discusses the importance of diversity and inclusion, both on screen and off. She sheds light on the power of representation, and what shows like The L Word, and the more recent reboot The L Word Generation Q, mean for LGBTQ+ communities and youth. She also opens up about her own challenges and triumphs as an LGBTQ woman navigating a male-dominated industry. Her remarks provide lessons on cultivating equitable and inclusive communities, and empower audiences to speak up in their own work and lives.
Writing with an agenda
Ilene Chaiken made history when she created Showtime's The L Word, television’s first ensemble cast depicting gay women, and she continues to be a leader in bringing marginalized voices and storylines to life. For Chaiken, the art of writing, creativity, and creation is always infused with politics. In these compelling and actionable remarks, she sheds light on how to write with an agenda, provides guidance on creating a curriculum that gives people the space to express themselves, and teaches both how to critique and accept critiques in ways that are productive, and result in our best, most honest, work. Tailored to any university's or creative institution's specific framework, Chaiken provides both eye-opening lessons and hands-on guidance that leaves\ participants with the tools they need to unleash their creative process.
Best known for creating the Showtime series The L Word, Ilene Chaiken received an Emmy, among many other awards, for Hulu’s The Handmaid’s Tale. She was the showrunner for the first four seasons of the Golden Globe-nominated Fox hit series Empire, and currently serves as executive producer of The L Word sequel, The L Word: Generation Q, which recently aired its first season on Showtime, and has already been renewed for a second.
In addition, she produced the docu-dramas The Real L Word and The Real L Word Mississippi for Showtime, which won the GLAAD Media Award for Outstanding Documentary. She also executive-produced pilots for Jerry Bruckheimer, McG and Joel Silver, and served as showrunner of the ABC drama series Black Box.
Chaiken is currently developing several new projects for broadcast, cable and television streaming services.
Hailing from Elkins Park, Pennsylvania, Chaiken resides in Los Angeles with her wife, LouAnne Brickhouse, and is the mother of twin daughters, Augusta and Tallulah Hood. She serves as a member of the RISD Board of Trustees.