What Does Aaron Sorkin Think of Women?

by Mark Wilson

Here’s a thought exercise: after six episodes of The Newsroom, has a female character done anything right? In episode six alone, two of the three major female characters made big mistakes. Will McAvoy (a man) soundly put Mackenzie MacHale in her place after she went on a tirade about how Will never really intended to marry her. Will then showed her the engagement ring he had bought years before, kept in his desk drawer. Then, Sloan Sabbith insisted that a Japanese nuclear official’s translator was lying and revealed off-the-record information during the broadcast. Sloan asks Will (a man) for help, expressly disclaiming Mackenzie’s help.

The Newsroom is my first Aaron Sorkin experience, but many others recognized that Sorkin has a woman problem:

Even if you are a Sorkin fan, you don’t need to be blind to the pattern that continues to emerge in his television work and in The Social Network, in which the female characters are represented either as crazy dragon-lady stereotypes (such as Eduardo Saverin’s Asian girlfriend who is so nuts that she sets fire to things), mindless hangers-on, or in sequences such as Mark Zuckerberg berating Rooney Mara’s character.