If TV is a reflection of where we are as a society, then the fall 2019 season should give you hope.
YouTube influencer Lilly Singh is taking over the male-dominated world of late night with NBC’s A Little Late with Lilly Singh. Ruby Rose is starring as the first out lesbian superhero on the CW’s Batwoman. A-listers like Gwyneth Paltrow and Jennifer Aniston are making the jump from blockbuster movies to streaming giants (in Netflix’s The Politician and Apple TV’s The Morning Show, respectively). Even the idea of a TV star has changed, thanks to actors like Jameela Jamil and Yara Shahidi, who have used the platforms afforded to them by their hit shows The Good Place and Grown-ish for their activism.
Behind the scenes, women are calling more shots than ever. According to the Directors Guild of America, the amount of women directing TV episodes hit a record high during the 2017-18 season. Just one example of this in play: Russian Doll actor, producer, writer, and co-creator Natasha Lyonne has transformed into the small screen’s most in-demand director, helming episodes for Orange Is the New Black (Netflix), Shrill (Hulu), and Awkwafina Is Nora From Queens (Comedy Central). ABC president Karey Burke is leading the network’s slate of diverse programming as the network’s new entertainment president—a role she inherited from another woman, Channing Dungey, in November.
The point: Complex, nuanced roles for women abound—before and behind the camera—and they’re found on streaming platforms, premium cable channels, and network behemoths alike. And to honor this, Glamour invited three women who represent what television is all about in 2019 to be our TV issue cover stars: Jameela Jamil, Natasha Lyonne, and Ruby Rose. Though they have vastly different backgrounds (countries, even), they share the common threads that matter most: They’re passionate advocates for women, forward-thinking storytellers, and, frankly, really good at their jobs.
See their profiles, here.