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tv   Amanpour Company  PBS  February 22, 2019 4:00pm-5:01pm PST

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hello, everyone. welcome to "amanpour & co." here's what's coming up. >> pope francis summons the cardinal to finally get to grips with the church's sex abuse crisis. his ally, cardinal blase cupich, the archbishop of chicago, tells me what they hope to achieve. as new allegations of priest abuse against catholic nuns surface, i'll speak with a former insider about how to bring lasting change. plus -- >> i got divorced. stronger now. >> remaking a classic sit-com for modern times. our alicia menendez speaks to the producer behind "one day at a time." uniworld is a proud sponsor
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welcome to the program, everyone. i'm christiane amanpour in london. condemnation is no longer enough. ithful expect concrete action to address the sexual abuse crisis that's become nearly synonymous with their faith. among his goals is how to establish specific protocols for handling accusations against bishops. behind closed doors, the pontiff heard testimony from survivors of abuse. in america alone, one advocacy group estimates more than 6,700 american priests have abused tens of thousands of children. and the u.s. catholic church has reportedly paid out approximately $3.8 billion in settlements since the 1980s. just last week, the church defrocked cardinal theodore mccarrick of washington after a church trial found him guilty of abusing minors. he's the highest ranking person to be expelled from the priesthood over this abuse. but the crisis is worldwide.
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and with particular worry and scrutiny now on the church in developing countries. cardinal luis tagle of the philippines issued this plea to his fellow clergymen as the conference got under way. >> the wounds of the recent cries carry the memory of innocent suffering. but they also carry the memory of our weakness and sinfulness. if we want to be agents of healing, let us not reject any tendency that this part of thinking that refuses to see and touch the wounds of others which are christ's wounds in the wounded people. >> another cardinal, blase cupich, is the archbishop shop of chicago. he's a close ali of pope francis as he was on his way to attend the summit at the vatican, he assured me that the pope is
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determined to route out the scourge but he also says the pontiff is managing expectations. here's our conversation. cardinal cupich, welcome to the program. >> thank you,. >> let's start by talking about this committee. you are amongst the organizers of this committee which is designed again to raise awareness and take some action on the ongoing issue of cover-ups and historical sexual abuse in the catholic church. before i ask you about the intent, i just want to say, pope francis seems to be trying to downplay expectations saying it's more of a "sunday school for bishops to teach them about the problem of child sex abuse." he said this. >> translator: we have to deflate expectations to these points that i've made because the problem of abuse will continue. it is a human problem. a human problem that is everywhere. >> comment on that first of all. what he says.
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>> yes, the holy father in remarking -- making those remarks wanted to make sure that the proper focus is on the two objectives that he has set forward. namely, to build that kind of awareness so that the bishops throughout the world claim ownership for this issue and secondly that we put together a framework that will make clear to them what are the concrete steps for keeping children safe, for handling abuse cases but also that they fully understand how they're going to be held accountable. those are significant outcomes that we are anticipating with this meeting that's going to take place. but he's right. to think that there will not be any more abuse of children in the church is unrealistic. we do our best. we know that it is a social problem throughout the world. but this is a significant step forward for us.
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>> i just wonder if you could comment on the fact that even now in 2019, you're talking about a -- an awareness-raising committee. for some that might seem just quaint. how much more awareness can they be? this has been a drip, drip, drip and a flood and a tsunami of allegations, of wrongdoing, of corruption in the church. and any other major corporation or company or organization would have been destroyed by this. would no longer be standing by this. and yet, i'm sorry, but the catholic church keeps going talking about raising awareness. >> well, i think that the raising awareness is globally now. we surely have raised awareness in the united states and in the western world. but we also know that that awareness is not heightened in other countries throughout the world. he wants to make sure that it
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is. when in fact we put in measures to protect children, when we make sure that we cooperate with law enforcement, the instances of child abuse drop dramatically and have since 2002 in the united states when we adopted the charter for children and young people. in the united states, over the last five years, we have had on average five cases of abuse by clergy in the catholic church of 70 million people. that is a dramatic drop since the height of the late '60s and '70s. so we know that when we address this, in a very forthright way, with protocols and understanding for accountability, we can make significant improvement. one abuse case is too many. but when in fact you attack this head-on, you can make
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a significant improvement. >> cardinal, i want to ask you about this explosive letter as you remember many months ago, arch bishop carl low maria vigano, former vatican ambassador to the united states he accused pope francis himself of covering up sexual misconduct by the former archbishop of washington, theodore mccarrick. we know mccarrick is right now in the process of being defrocked. correct me if i'm wrong. this seems to be going on right now. do you believe that the pope played a part in covering up mccarrick's sexual misconduct? >> i have no information about that. in fact, i do know that the prefect for the congregation of bishops did offer a reply on that particular point. i don't have it in front of me now but i would refer to you that. and i know that the holy father has always looked for ways in which he is transparent and he's going to move forward. and whenever he's made a mistake, he's owned it. we see that time and again in his pontificate.
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he's a man who honestly wants to deal with issues before him. and in this instance, of abuse cases, whenever he got it wrong, he said he got it wrong an he's willing to learn. >> cardinal, of course we're talking about abuse which mostly is now historical abuse. what's really a problem in the catholic church is the crime of covering up these crimes. and the question is, does the pope, does the hierarchy have a plan to punish those who cover up? and i guess what i'm asking you now, you've just said the pope will you know, own any mistakes but the u.s. conference of bishops, your people, went to rome in november and asked for an investigation into what was known about mccarrick's case and the pope refused that investigation. why do you think the pope would refuse even an investigation into mccarrick and the cover-up around mccarrick?
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>> well, i would say that that's not accurate. >> okay. >> there was a declaration by the holy see that they were going to go through all of their files and do an investigation. there was an initial response by the prefect for the congregation for bishops, cardinal wollett and so my understanding is the holy see has committed to that kind of investigation. so i believe that that's ongoing just as a matter of record to correct. >> okay, but there still is no vatican investigation into this, right? >> yes. cardinal wollett is part of the vatican, one of the offices. he did respond with regard to the files that they had present in their office, but the holy see did, the vatican did put out a declaration they were going to do this investigation. >> we know you now have policies in place that the church has policies in place for abusers. but not yet at least we don't know whether you have and what
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they are any policies in place for the ongoing cover-up of the abusers and the complicated mechanism that involves so many of the hierarchy in the church to cover up, to move around, to play you know, board games with abusive priests and others. what are the mechanisms to punish them. >> right. the pope issued a document called "like a loving mother." it was an apostolic letter in which he outlined that if a bishop mishandled cases even if in fact, did so in a way that was just objectively wrong without the culpability that's there, that he will be held accountable and be dismissed. that has been and in fact already employed in cases where bishops have mishandled cases
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and he's very resolute about that. at the meeting we're going to have, we're going to be very clear about how bishops will be held accountable and how complaints can be made against bishops if they mishandle cases or in some way allow abuse to continue. but already, the pope has issued a document that has set that procedure and the measures in place. we need now to be clear in each country on how the procedures are for reporting bishops and then the process for investigating that and making that known to the people of god. that has already been -- that has is a direction we've started. >> cardinal, could i ask you to turn your attention now to this horrendous story of the abuse of nuns. the pope himself has admitted that clerics have sexually abused nuns. raped nuns, kept them as sex slaves and even forced to abort priests' children.
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some of these cases date back to the mid '90s. this is what the pope said just this month. >> translator: i think it is still taking place because it's not as though the moment you become aware of something it goes away. the thing continues and we've been working on this for some time. i can say this doesn't happen in my house. it's true. should something more be done? yes. do we have the will? yes. but it's the part we've been on for some time. >> cardinal, what can you say about this? i mean, it fits a pattern of the ongoing society-wide abuse of women in a patriarchal world. there is practically almost nothing more patriarchal than the catholic church. how can nuns who come to do good feel protected and safe in the catholic church run entirely by men with no women in the hierarchy and with no voice?
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>> well, this crime against religious consecrated women should be condemned by everyone and we should do everything possible to make sure that it's stopped. this is, this is a horrendous crime. the holy father is right about and he is resolute in making sure that this takes place. but this is also tied to the abuse of children and abuse of minors. and that is a clerical mentality, a clericalist mentality where people think because they're in a position of power or privilege or protection, that they can get away with this kind of thing. that has to end. and the holy father is right in putting this within the context of a clericalist culture that has to stop. and that is part of the cure
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that needs to take place as we address all of these problems. >> cardinal, i'm really happy to hear you say that. but i wonder what you mean by clericalist culture that has to stop. it is the foundation of the roman catholic church. the clericalist culture. men are in positions of power and they wield their power over everybody, the kids, the women, everybody. so i just wonder whether once and for all, the catholic church can enter the real world and understand that when women are put in positions of authority and with more equity and parity, these things will stop, cardinal. they will stop. >> you're exactly right. the focus the pope talked about the church being an inverted pyramid. instead of having the pope, bishops, cardinals at the top all of this down to the people, it has to be turned upside down. when you have a church that takes into consideration of everyone, those in positions of authority see themselves as servants.
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and that is the direction the holy father is moving towards. and why he calls for a citadel church. when i talk about clericalism, i'm talking about the abuse of power, not the exercise of authority. there's a big difference between those two. we know people in society have roles and authority and responsibilities. but when that authority is abused for their own sake, for their own privilege and is protected, that is the culture of clericalism in the church that has to be rooted out. you're exactly right. the more that we integrate the voice of laymen and women and all the people in decision making, in consultation, that's where the change will take place. i'm a firm believer of that and i know so is pope francis. >> you say laymen and women. i hear you sort of pivoting away from the idea of actual religious women gaining more power in the church. >> no, i meant to say that instead of clergy because religious women are still part
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of the laity, as well in the understanding. >> i guess i meant clergy. i wonder whether this is a perfect opportunity for the church to get with the picture, so to speak, and understand that, of course, clericalism is about abuse of power. but you will always have abuse of power if you don't have parity and equality and gender representation in just like in any other walk of life. >> you're exactly right. that's why in the 20 years that i've been a bishop, i've always made sure that we have that kind of diversity in my administration. i depend every day on laymen and women, religious women and others to help me make decisions and bring about the proper ordering of the church and this archdiocese. the holy father now is intrusion as well, laymen and women and religious in the various offices making them, putting them in places of authority. we need to do a better job of that. we're better off when we do it. we lose something of the wisdom
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of the laity of religious women when we exclude them and not only in consultation but also in positions of authority and decision making. >> time for female priests? >> yes, i think that the issue of authority needs to be understood as not being the sole preserve of those who are ordained. and that is i think the distinction we have to make. we should not collapse all authority around those who are ordained and treat those to a question separately. >> it's really interesting to hear what you're saying. i want to ask you, how do you analyze what seems to be a a little bit of a existential struggle within the church hierarchy led by the pope who is on the reform path in many, many aspects as we've been talking and other aspects, as well and those who are still entrenched
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in the traditional hierarchical highly, let me just say, fundamentalist interpretation of the church. >> we do have to walk together and listen to each other. that's part of the discernment as we look at where the lord is calling us in the future. when we take our time and have a deep listening to each other, we will get it right. people on both sides have things to offer. the holy father's role is to make sure that church unity is preserved. and that is why i think it's important for him to raise important questions as he's doing and at the same time, keep an open ear as people who approach things differently share their views. and i think that's the pathway the holy father is outlining for us. it's a lot harder than just having a dictatorial edict from the person who is in charge like the pope and saying this is what's going to happen.
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but when. in fact, you do approach that has people walking together, you're going to create a better outcome an you're going to preserve the unity of the church. >> cardinal blaze cupich, thank you so much for joining us. >> i'm honored to be with you. thank you. >> and the cardinal is now attending that conference at the vatican. but creating that common path forward won't be easy. as you just heard in our conversation, just this month, pope francis admitted for the very first time that the church has been plagued not just by the abuse of children but also the abuse of nuns. he said some cases have amounted to "sexual slavery." those are the pope's words. correspondent melissa bell has been looking into some of those cases in france. here's her report. >> it was like automatic. you know? he wanted to go to the end to ejaculation and i was just like an object for him and i had the feeling and he did this a lot of times. >> reporter: lucy, not her real name, says she was abused by a
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priest. so with these women. none of their alleged abusers have ever faced trial. this is the story of st. john. the order of the sisters of st. john was founded by father dominique who preached for physical expression of affection. it was long after his death that the order recognized that he had been guilty of sexual abuse. but for years, there were rumors about other priests and other victims within the order. lucy was 18 years old and preparing to become an oblate, a layperson consecrated within the church when she says the abuse began. >> you can be 18 or 16 or 20 when have you not experienced sexuality and you have suddenly in front of you the sex of men, it's just a shock. >> reporter: it took lucy 15 years to be able to talk about it. she then says the church wouldn't listen. in the criminal courts, the
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statute of limitations had expired. the vatican now says it is investigating allegations made by several women against lucy's alleged abuser. he was removed from the community ten years ago but even now, it is the strength of her faith that makes it so hard to take in. >> he's a priest. he's a father. he's near god. he's like god. christ is living in him. he cannot do something like this. i think the worst was to talk. it broke me. it broke my body, in fact. i prefer to have been shot by a gun, or if i have just a leg handicap, it's okay. i can live my life. but here it's a murder inside of your heart and of your soul because it's about faith also. so it's like something is dead in me. >> reporter: leonid was a novice when she was abused. the order of st. john's says her alleged abuse ser now being
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investigated by the vatican. he declined our requests for comments. lee nid only began to put a word on what happened to her two years ago and by then, it was too late to take to the criminal courts. >> translator: the psychological abuse was worse than the sexual abuse. it's my inner life. he took my dignity, my femininity, all that i was. >> liene says the abuse went on for 15 years. in the letters she shows us, the father suggests discretion adding that his crazy love for her comes from jesus. cnn reached out to the vatican. its spokesman wouldn't comment on any specific allegations, but did confirm that several clerics belonging to the congregation of st. john were being investigated. lawrence is a former nun who now heads a victims organization. >> translator: we are talking about victims who don't speak out. but what about those who went straight to psychiatric hospital?
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what about those who mutelated themselves? i know of one case, her parents called me to tell me me had cut out her own tongue. what can you say? what happened to a victim to do that? >> reporter: not all of the abuse took place here, but the order says over the course of the last 45 years, five priests have been found guilty of sexual abuse in civil courts with three under investigation. further more, two priests have been found guilty of abuse in church courts. french authorities wouldn't comment, but the order of st. john gave cnn a statement saying that it accepted that errors had been made in the past in the handling of cases of sexual abuse because of a lack of awareness of the suffering caused to the women. we did just try and ring the bell here at the order of st. john but no one would speak to us on camera. what matters is the order has recognized that there are victims other than those of the founder. now that acknowledgement came just after pope francis had lifted the lid on what he called
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sexual slavery within the order of st. john. so what did the pope's words mean for the victims? >> it was like a bomb. >> translator: it's a new beginning. >> repoter: the pontiff's recognition may come late but it does put words on a trauma that for so many that until now had been unspeakable. >> and those are really tough unspeakable testimonials there. my next guest has devoted her life to trying to change this culture of abuse in the church. marie collins is herself a survivor. she was abused by a priest as a teenager growing up in ireland. in 2014, she he was hand-picked by pope francis to sit on a committee dedicated to the issue. but when faced with resistance to her recommendations from within the vatican, three years later, maria quit and now she advocates for change from the outside. and she's joining me from dublin. marie collins, welcome to the program.
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you have just listened to our report on the abuse of nuns within the order of st. john in france. you've heard the pope has acknowledged that this went on. you heard cardinal cupich talk about the important and good intentions of the pope in calling this conference. i wondered just your commentary on what you expect to come out of this conference after these -- after this gathering of cardinals and bishops. >> well, i think as you said earlier, the pope has been playing down the expectations for this meeting, but that's not enough. we've had a lot of talk about what needs to be done, what should be done, cardinal cupich there said this is what should happen. what we actually need to see now
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we'll be told that the bishop around the world now get it, that they understand that abuse is a serious problem and they must look at it. but what we won't see is a timeline for action. as cardinal cupich there said in, countries where really strong safeguarding policies have been put in place, in america, really strong, very clear safeguarding policy is put in place. as you said, abuse has dropped dramatically. it has worked. why has the church, seeing that, not put it in every other country? >> why do you think that is, marie collins? why not if it does actually work? >> there is so much resistance, particularly the attitude that every country and the bishops in every country have to have authority and power over their
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own area. subsidiarity is what they call it. the pope particularly does not like making rules from the top. he likes to see things being done by the bishops in their own countries but that doesn't work. you can't just leave it up to the will of the individual. it has to be something that comes from the experience of the entire church. and i know earlier, you said like the child abuse was mostly in the church now historically. but sadly, that only applies in countries like america, ireland, australia where we've had these huge upheavals. in many other countries around the world, children are being abused by members of the church this very minute. and nothing has been done to stop it. that is what is frustrating for somebody like myself who have been campaigning for 20 years. >> so they say that this conference is to address
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precisely that, to address the countries where it's still going on and that have not made -- where the church hasn't made the corrections that you've talked about like in america, australia, and in ireland. can i just ask you specifically on the abuse of nuns, i mean, this is a fairly new revelation. it's obviously been happening for a long time. but this is the first time it's getting so much publicity. and i wonder whether you think just like in boston when the first abuse cases started to surface publicly, whether this is the tip of the iceberg and are we going to suddenly find out that in parts of the developing world, you know, europe, india, africa, et cetera, that suddenly there's going to be a lot more women coming out with these tales of abuse. >> it's exactly the same as the child abuse problem. i mean, it's not that the -- it might be news to us about the nuns. it's not new to the vatican.
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there was a religious sister and nun working in africa, 25 years ago, she sent a report to the vatican about nuns being raped and abused by priests in africa. and nothing was done about it. so they've known about it. it's only when it becomes public that they start to give it any attention. i think what is going to happen with the abuse of nuns and the abuse of young seminarians, this is going to explode in the same way as the child abuse did. when the actual victims feel that they can come forward and speak out. and the church in the past has only confronted the abuse of children in the countries where it has become a public scandal, where the media and the people become angry and the erica, australia, a country like my own, ireland. they seem to wait. they're not proactive. they're reactive.
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they do something when they have to, not when they should. and i think this is the problem. there are solutions that could be put into place immediately. and they're not doing them. they're promising them, but they're not doing them. i think catholics are becoming very, very tired of the words, the promises, meetings like this where it's appealing to these bishops' better natures if you like to actually grasp this and promise to do something about it. i think in the church we're at the stage where they have to be made to do thing about it. >> that's really interesting. it goes against and you've a bottom-up issue.n't be sort it has to be a top-down issue from the pope and from the hierarchy. but before i continue with what could be done and why it's not being done, could i just ask you, if you don't mind, to explain what happened to you as a very young teenager when you were abused. how did that even happen?
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>> well, i was a very devout catholic. i was an irish catholic. i was sick. i had a disease of osio myelitis. i had to go to the hospital for an operation. i went into a children's hospital because i was 12 on the borderline of turning 13. i was very innocent. the innocence of sort of a 6-year-old now because i was a child of the fifties. i went into the hospital. there for three weeks. the catholic chaplain befriended me and made me his special friend. i felt very lucky that he was picking me out as you know, a really special friend and to me, he was such an important figure. you know? but i had a room of my own and he began to come round in the evenings and then the friendliness turned into abuse. and sexual abuse. and sexual interference. i didn't know what he was doing,
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i didn't know -- i knew it was wrong. it felt awful. he took intimate photographs and all the time i felt confused. i didn't know what he was doing, i didn't know why he was doing it. but i knew i didn't want it to happen. when i said to him, don't do this, it's wrong whatever you're doing, i don't want you to do it, he kept telling me, i'm a priest. you know i can't do something wrong. you know i can't. there's something wrong with you, he said, if you think what i'm doing is wrong. so it's a child's way of thinking i taught he is a priest. he is a man that can't do something wrong. so there's definitely something wrong with me. you know? i'm a bad person. that feeling of being a bad person lasted with me for many, many years. >> and how did you emerge from that feeling because then you did, you know, many years later, you joined the pope's commission and you were you know, hoping
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that you could i guess use your own experience but your own commitment to stopping this kind of abuse. how did that come about? >> well for 20 years i suffered the effects of the abuse, you know, panic attacks, anxiety, hospitalizations with depression. it destroyed many years of my life. eventually i-reported because the first cases here in ireland were in the '90s and i reported my abuser in 1995. the police started to investigate but i went to my diocese and the archbishop shop he refused to cooperate with the police. he protected my abuser. he protected him totally and the police investigated and my abuser was jailed. but what happened at the time was that i saw the diocese and the archbishop shop going out and telling the people that the church were doing everything as they should in these cases. while i knew behind closed doors they were doing nothing of the
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sort. and that pushed me to speak out. i thought people needed to know that what the church was saying and what the church was doing were two different things. i got a lot of therapy for my abuse and thankfully have been very well since then and my life changed. but i went on then to try and get the church to understand the damage abuse does to a child, the damage it does to the rest of your life. and that by protecting these men they were complicit in that. and i joined with my own diocese, then a different archbishop shop came in. i helped set up their child protection office. i worked on safeguarding guidelines with the irish church and i spoke in rome in 2012 at a symposium, and then from that i was invited to join the pope's commission on the protection of minors which was to advise him what changes were needed. i joined that in 2014. >> right.
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it's interesting to hear that just as you didn't get heard in the church in your case, the police did take care of it, you then resigned from this commission because you say that the vatican, the people in charge of dealing with the information you were putting out there, weren't listening either. that you could give all the reports on abuse that you liked but it wasn't being dealt with. >> yeah, during those three years, i worked with really excellent colleagues, experts in every area of this issue. and we drew up recommendations for pope francis to hold people in leadership accountable, to bring in better safeguarding universally. he approved these recommendations. and he gave them to his courier to implement them. that's where they stopped. they disappeared into the sand. so after three years of seeing recommendations being made,
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being approved and then being discarded, i felt there was no point in remaining. and i think the pope could start right now to clear the vatican out of all those men who are so resistant to change and who still live in that old mentality. a lot of them think that abuse is simply a moral lapse. it's a sin and we should for forgive these skmentd -- men and put them back. so getting those men at the very top and if they're not going to protect children or don't think they need to, remove them first off straightaway from the vatican itself. >> marie collins, i wonder if you've made of other recent stories that have come out. there's a big report about how a whole group inside the vatican is trying to scapegoat homosexuals and we have a little bit of a sound bite by barbara doris. an abuse survivor, former executive director of survivors network of those abused by priests s.n.a.p.
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this is what we said about the current attempt to explain away this systemic abuse. >> church officials have framed this as a homosexual issue for a couple of reasons. it takes away from the real focus on the problem which is criminal sexual assault. and it acts as a smoke screen. you hear people now discussing homosexuality rather than the crimes themselves. and homosexual issues automatically remove the women from the discussion and magically half the victims have been made to disappear. >> i wonder what you make of what she said and i guess as part of that question, you sort of described a situation where the pope wants to do the right thing but he seems to be hampered by those underneath who form for want of a better word the deep state, the deep vatican state who are against his reforms. >> yes. there are pro and anti-francis factions as we know and the vatican is the most political
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place in the world. it's all about careerism and infighting and it's that completely undermines any sort of efficiency. it's very dysfunctional. on the homosexual issue, i think there's a lot of very conservative right wing catholics who have an agenda really to say that abuse is all down to gay priests, as the all down to homosexuality. if we got homosexuality out of the church we would eradicate abuse. i agree this is complete misdirection. complete. it's as simple as saying that, you know, someone like me, i was abused by a pedophile heterosexual. get rid of all heterosexuals and you would have no abuse in the church. it's a very complex subject. there's pedophiles, and they
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abuse children male and female prepubescent, then you have ebow phobes that abuse young post prepew assess sent. you have het sexual perpetrator and have you homosexual perpetrators. it's nothing to do with their orientation. it's the fact that they are abusers that they are people who will take advantage of the vulnerable either the vulnerable child or the vulnerable young adult. and trying to put it all in the context of homosexual assault, it's just people trying to follow an agenda which really does not do anything to forward the issue of protecting children. >> marie collins, thank you so much for joining us. we do hope to be able to report on real change and a new agenda and accountability in light of all these heartbreaking testimonials we just heard. now, though, we're taking a very different turn. we're going to focus on culture with a tv series that's brimming
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with much-needed warmth. the critically acclaimed "one day at a time," a remake of norman lear's '70s sit-com with a latin twist. it stars latin legends like the oscar winning star rita moreno. the brains behind the show, producer gloria calderon kellett tells our alicia menendez how she got her show off the ground. >> a few years ago, norman lear, legendary producer of shows like "all in the family," "sanford and sons," "the jeffersons" gives you a call and says i want to reboot my show with a latino family "one day at a time." did you think it was a good idea? >> i did not think it was a good id idea at first. i thought it was a good idea in theory and to be clear, norman didn't call me. miss people called me. he doesn't have to call me.
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somebody says norman lear wants to meet with you, you go, yes, please. i told him, i sat down with him and the first 30 minutes i couldn't tell you what happened. you're just in awe of this legend. he's so disarming and so just salt of the earth kind of guy and really, really interested in people, even at 97 years old. he's still curious. and he was asking me all these questions and finally he said we're thinking about doing the show. what do you think? something in me was like i don't know if you should do it. he goes why? i said because we're very hard audience. people are constantly trying to get that latinx audience and we're very different but very similar but very proud of our differences and very proud of our similarities. there's this sort of pan latinx thing that happened that people try to appeal to all of us and it makes all of us feel a little upset. he goes what would you do. i said i would be super, super super specific about my personal truth of what it is to be latin x on the west coast, cuban-american. it's very specific different
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than someone -- even different than cubans in mid america or east coast. and i told him about my family and about my mom and dad and their journey as kids coming to this country in 1962. and he just said well, let's do that. let's do that show. >> and you were convinced? >> oh, yeah. yeah. yes. i was convinced. i said okay. let's do it. let's do it. and the wonderful mike royce was already attached to the project. and the three of us sit down and it was the alchemy of the moment was magical. >> you've worked in almost writer's room in hollywood. mixology. >> yes. >> most people know you from "how i met your mother." >> yes. >> can any of that experience really prepare you for running a show? >> 1,000%. yes, all of those rooms taught me different things. i had some great show runners, not not so great. some people that were great with actors, some people that didn't like interacting with actors.
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some people great with editing. i got to piece together i like this, it was a salad bar of take this and take that of 12 years of salad barring and finally you was i know how to make a salad. that's how it came together. >> you've done everything on this show, as well in addition to running the show, you're a producer. you are a writer on the show. you're a director. this season you are acting in the show. let's take a look. >> i am. >> hi. >> mommy. >> wow. looking good, lupe. so is the place. ugly pillow in the closet? >> you know it. you look good too. where is the baby i mean blondie. i mean, your girlfriend. [ audience reacts ] [ laughter ]
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>> hi. >> oh, wow. >> dang, papi's got a type. >> it is so trippy to see you look that much alike. i didn't know hair made such a big difference. >> when we're hanging out together, people are like, are you guys sisters? are you guys related? we're the same height and weight. she's thinner, i should point that out for her. but it's something that we get all the time. we love each other so much that the writers were like you should play nicole this season. we should but the you in a wig. once i put that wig on, it was madness. people kept on confusing us. it was really fun. >> there are a lot of serious topics you handle on the show. we'll get to that in a second. the show is a celebration of our joy and i wonder why that was important to you to put that front and center. >> so many reasons.
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i mean, look, the main reason is that's my family. my family is a special -- a special bunch of people. everything is joy-filled in my life. i'm blessed in that way. but also i feel like the lack of representation on television for latinos that are happy and joyful and living a great, fun, happy, prosperous life is limited. and so to be able to put that out there, you're always seeing suffering mother, you're always seeing gang bangers and violence. i just wanted to also show the other side that the narrative of the latinx right now in the country is very skewed. it's sort of one story. i feel like we've exhausted that story. i am so much more interested in the people that i grew up around my whole life. and that story is not being reflected right now and it in turn really affects society's view of who we are as people. so i really felt like i didn't mean to you know, be telling these stories that would have
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such political influence. it doesn't seem political to me. it just seems like this is the truth. and telling truth right now seems to be a political act. >> for a lot of us who get into media who did not see ourselves reflected back to us in our youth, i often say steve urkel was the character on tv who reminded me of myself growing up because he was from a minority group. and he was a nerd. that has changed. but so too has my perception of what real power looks like. it's no longer enough to see the reflection back or see the story told. i now understand it is important that the people who are making decisions about what gets on air and what gets resources understand the value of that experience and that diversity. >> absolutely. this is why i'm on the 50-50 by 2020 advisory board because jill solaway was adamant about the leadership in arts and entertainment being accountable to have women and people of
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color behind the scenes. these are the pace makers, making decisions about what you see, what everyone sees, and women and people of color in particular having really been led down a path that is inaccurate to who we are and it affects too much. so the stories become entertaining, but also have a a little broccoli, a little sugar to get that medicine down. changing the narrative so it's more reflective of what this country looks like and sounds like and does. >> what's so interesting for you, that's long been a hallmark of norman lear's programming. getting at the socioio cultural issues. >> this consent thing is tricky. >> no, women always blame themselves and then the man never has to take responsibility. >> during rape prevention week at school, all the signs are aimed at women. girls don't dress provocatively, girls, don't walk alone.
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>> how about, hey, guys, don't rape? [ cheers ] >> oh, my god, why are we taulgts? talk about that? i took a couple pictures about that and chloe hot it was funny. >> did she feel she had to laugh because she didn't know what else to do with your hand on her boob. >> okay, take it easy. >> no, he thinks what he did is cute. you're basically a predator. >> you're basically a psycho. >> good, call me crazy for defending a woman's right not to be groped. >> you're just mad at the internet. you don't know my life. you don't leave this apartment. >> because of guys like you. >> how do you craft that conversation in a way that is authentic and stops short of feeling like an after-school special. >> you know, that's the challenge. i mean we really try to be as honest and truthful as we can and we take a lot of conversations from the room. the writer's room, one of our writers michele is who told us she was talking about rape prevention week in college and she's the one that made that wonderful like it's always geared towards women. and it never really occurred to
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me until that moment. and so then we started talking about it in the room and some of the guys were like is this going too far? no, because we all get fired up in our conversations because really after all this has happened, where do we go from women speak up, be empowered. what are we telling our boys? this was such a great opportunity with alex to see him doing something that maybe is a little innocuous and bad but where in that point is he told stop where other men were not. and it snowballed. can we take an opportunity to have a conversation with this guy and also have snyder go through his own reveltory of thing oh, my god have i been part of this. that's also been interesting. a lot of men in the writer's
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room, there were times when i went out with a girl and she said nothing was going to happen. and something happened. am i complicit? it was those conversations that were so interesting to me. let's just do this and see where it comes from and where do we get to the other side. where is redemption. >> you must have a lot of trust in that writers room. yes, these are all wonderful people. mike royce and i got so lucky with this group of people. we read a gazillion writers. it's a really specific puzzle you have to put together when putting together a writers room. you want some joke people, story people, character people and then over time you get really, really comfortable hopefully so that people can share and be vulnerable. you know, it's vulnerable to admit your failings and your successes. >> we talk a lot about a changing america and how that is reflected back to us in media. but part of what is changing is our consumption habits.
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sometimes when i watch "one day at a time," i wonder could this show exist on broadcast? >> interesting. i think it could. it would be a lot shorter. because broadcast is 22 sometimes 20 i'm hearing now, 20, 21 minutes. we get 26 to 28 to 29. >> luxurious. >> luxurious which is a b story or a c story or a lingering look or a quiet moment which you don't get a lot on network because there's no time. you really have to kind of fight for those jokes. so the time that that would be the biggest thing that would be difficult, but in terms of the topics that we talk about, this is the stuff like you said that norman was doing in the '70s although he told me a funny story that cbs had done a retrospective of him and called him and said what are your favorite clips so we can add it to the retrospective. some clips they cannot air now, standards and practices could not air now. i was like what? so so great. >> that's how ground breaking norman lear was.
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>> i want to watch a montage of the clips. >> i know. >> your show is now back on the air and netflix which is a streaming service evaluates in a very short period of time whether or not they believe that a show has been a success. what does that mean for you as a creator and what does that mean for us as consumers? >> well, the beauty of netflix is the creative process is unlike any i've ever experienced anywhere. they are so supportive, let us make the show we want to make. their notes are thoughtful. it's painful to say that will executive notes are thoughtful and great. they are. once you put it out to the world, they have all these ways of evaluating it we don't know. so all we know are the numbers. all we know are the phone calls where they say we wish more people were watching or not as many watched as we hoped. we don't know what the cost benefit analysis they're looking at is. that first season we said nothing.
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and then last year i was like no, i love these people too much. i'm going to let the internet know, hey, if you want to help us out and love the show, don't like watch it once a week. binge it because they're deciding right now. i had no idea that that tweet was going to go viral. and so that really i think was one of the factors that helped to save the show. >> you're very transparent and i think a lot of people appreciate your transparency around how challenging just getting in the door inside of hollywood can be. you're often on twitter giving advice and counsel to would-be writers. why is that important to you? >> because i didn't know anybody either. because i feel for what that struggle is. you know, i grew up in portland, oregon. then we moved to san diego. i didn't know anyone in the industry. i had no idea how to go about doing this. colleges now i think are so much better at setting people up for when they graduate. my college which i loved didn't
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have a path, here's the steps you do when you graduate. so i wanted to be able to offer up like the library of gloria's limited brain for people to, you know, i don't know everything but i'll tell you what i know. so that maybe your road will be a little bit easier or you'll feel like okay, i'm on the right track or i don't know. the internet is so full of negativity that anytime we can put a little bit of kindness into the world, it just makes things better. >> thank you so much. >> thank you. >> that's all we have time for tonight. thank you for watching "amanpour & co." on pbs and join us again tomorrow night. uniworld is a proud sponsor of "amanpour & co." when bea tollman's 60-year culinary career began, she didn't know the recipes from her cookbook would make their way to
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her river cruise line, uniworld. bea's locally inspired cuisine is served while cruising through europe, asia, india, and egypt because, according to bea, to travel is to eat. bookings available through your travel adviser. for more information, visit >> additional support has been provided by rosalind p. walter, bernard and irene schwartz, sue and edgar wachenheim iii, the cheryl and philip milstein family, seton melvin, judy and josh weston, the jpb foundation, and by contributions to your pbs station from viewers like you. thank you. you are watching pbs.
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