It’s hard to judge the real culprit of her lack of work since the industry seems so wishy-washy.
When showrunner Scottie Madden first came out as a trans woman to an executive at Discovery Inc.’s Animal Planet in January 2015, she felt relieved. “If my top-level client is OK with this, then I’m going to be OK,” she’d told herself. Before transitioning, she had worked with the network to develop Dude, You’re Screwed, an adventure reality series that ended up airing on the company’s flagship network, Discovery Channel. As Madden recalls it, the executive had been “so blown away and happy and accepting.” From there, the showrunner proceeded to come out to all her colleagues in reality television. Their acceptance, Madden said, bordered “on the verge of surreal.”
But Madden’s optimism was misplaced. Now, more than three years after coming out, Madden says that neither Discovery, nor any other network or production company, has hired her to run another show.