The Unfiltered Truth from Annette Hess: German TV Disruptor Award Winner

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Annette Hess, the recipient of Deadline’s first-ever German TV Disruptor Award, did not hold back when discussing the gender pay gap in the industry. She shed light on the stark reality that female writers and actors face in terms of compensation, revealing that female writers receive 20% less pay for a script compared to their male counterparts. Additionally, she noted that male actors are paid 20% more for roles in the main cast than female actors. Despite efforts for better recognition, Hess expressed disappointment in the lack of progress towards pay parity, stating that the situation seems to be deteriorating rather than improving.

Hess provided fans with an exclusive glimpse into the highly anticipated series, Ku’damm 77, the latest installment in the German drama franchise. Set in 1970s Berlin, the three-part series will follow key characters as they are captured by a documentary team. Originally conceived as a mockumentary, Hess decided to incorporate this element into the finished show. Furthermore, she shared her aspirations of stepping into the director’s chair for one episode, showcasing her multifaceted talents beyond writing.

A vocal advocate for creative control, Hess emphasized the importance of having a say in the creative process. Drawing from past negative experiences, she demanded to be involved in decisions regarding directing, casting, and post-production for the first Ku’damm series. Her collaboration with UFA, the production company behind the show, resulted in a successful partnership that prioritized the integrity of the story and characters. This commitment to storytelling and vision has solidified her reputation as a protector of artistic expression.

In a memorable moment at Seriencamp, Hess embraced her title as a disruptor in the German TV industry. Taking the stage to accept the prestigious award, she affirmed that the disruptor label resonated with her values and principles. Through her unfiltered commentary and bold actions, Annette Hess continues to challenge the status quo and advocate for gender equality and creative autonomy in television production. Her impact as a trailblazer extends beyond her acclaimed work, inspiring a new generation of storytellers to push boundaries and defy conventional norms.


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