Arrow season 7 is going to be written by mostly women. The upcoming season of the flagship show from The CW's Arrowverse seems like it'll be one with some serious creative upheaval. Marc Guggenheim, who has been showrunner since the very beginning, is moving on (along with co-showrunner Wendy Mericle). Beth Schwartz is new the showrunner for Arrow season 7.
Schwartz isn't a newcomer for the series. She's been writing on Arrow since season 1. However, her promotion has resulted in some serious changes behind-the-scenes in the writers room. For season 7, Arrow is moving from a show that has been dominated by male writers to one that will be primarily written by women.
The news of Arrow's revamped writers room came directly from the writers room's own Twitter. The account, which regularly offers fans sneak peeks behind the scenes of Arrow, shared a photo of the writing staff for season 7, presumably out for a business meal.
In the photo it's immediately apparent how female-dominated the staff will be as the show moves into its new season (and possibly era). Including Schwartz, there are 10 female writers and three male writers. (Although those numbers might change, by one, assuming the person who took the picture is also a writer.) This may not seem like much of big deal, but it is very significant, not only for Arrow but TV in general. Hollywood is still very male dominated. Most TV writers and showrunners are male. For Arrow season 7, the series will buck that trend in two important ways, with not only Schwartz' promotion but a heavily female writing crew.
To Arrow's credit, the show has always been very balanced in how it has handed out writing credits with its episodes. Usually a combination of a male and female writer has tackled each episode, particularly in the most recent season. However, it's usually been the same handful of names over and over. Departing showrunner Mericle and incoming showrunner Schwartz are the female writers with the most credits. However, they've worked with a variety of other male writers (only a couple of whom seem to be present in the new writers room photo). The shake-up in the writers room should be seen as a victory for diversity, with more voices getting a chance to tell stories in the Arrowverse.
The interesting thing will be how the new writers room trickles down to the stories and episodes of Arrow season 7. One of the frequent criticisms of the show has been the way Arrow has treated its female characters. Although the series has always had female heroes in rather significant roles, they have often been reduced to love interests or, even more problematically, been written off the show in brutal ways to facilitate the development of other - often male - characters.
The female dominated writers room isn't a sign that Arrow will oust Oliver Queen as its main character. (Even though season 6 ended with Oliver being unmasked as the Green Arrow and thrown in prison.) It should however result in a lot of fresh creative blood being injected into the show, which is something Arrow needs. The new writers should end up helping characters get new perspectives or storylines, regardless of their gender.
New creative voices are almost always a good thing. Especially for a series like Arrow, which is rapidly approaching double digits in its season count.
Source: Arrow Writers Room/Twitter