Paranormal TV Audiences "Do Not Find Women Intellectually Credible"
Katrina Weidman, star of 'Paranormal Lockdown' and 'Portals To Hell', has spoken out about how women in the paranormal field aren't fairly represented by the media and on TV.
The television ghost hunter made the comments during a live Q&A on YouTube, which saw her answering questions about 'Travel The Dead', her new paranormal web series, which also stars her good friend Heather Taddy. The pair first appeared on screen together in 'Paranormal State' between 2007 and 2011.
Joined by her co-star during the web chat, Katrina said, "it is very much a gentleman's club when it comes to the media side of the paranormal."
She added, "that's fine in ways, you know, we're not trying to not have men be a part of the paranormal, but there's also tonnes of women and there's also tonnes of non-binary folks and, you know, there's a whole spectrum of people who are into the paranormal."
Katrina said that she's always found it odd that people from a multitude of backgrounds experience paranormal activity, but this isn't represented in the media. She said, "what I always find cool about the paranormal is regardless of gender, regardless of race, regardless of religion, regardless of your social status or anything, you know, where you were born, any of that. You find so many people from all walks of life who are coming together because they've had an experience or because there's an interest there, and I always find it really funny and kind of odd that that isn't represented in the media."
Shockingly, Katrina recalls one knock-back she had from a television network based on her gender. Katrina was quick to point out that the unnamed network wasn't one she has ever worked with. The incident took place 12 years ago when Katrina and a producer friend pitched an idea for a show in which she would be the lead investigator.
Katrina said, "the notes that she was getting back from networks at that time, was there will never be a female lead because men don't want their information from women."
The duo were joined on the web chat by psychic medium, Michelle Belanger, who also appears as a guest in 'Travel The Dead'. Michelle stated that she has also experienced similar attitudes, even though she doesn't identify as female. Michelle openly told viewers of the live stream, "I am probably the only - I don't know of anybody else - openly intersex person who works in at least American paranormal TV. Intersex being quite different from trans, I'm kind of both and neither and it's a confusing thing."
Michelle said that she's also received a similar knock-back to Katrina's, "I will not call out the channel, but they pitched me for a sort of 'in search of' thing, and it was 'our audience does not find women intellectually credible'."
Questioning why there isn't more diversity, Katrina said, "what's interesting is the field itself, it skews more female than it does male, and the same with audiences that watches, paranormal media, it skews more female."
If you want to catch up with Katrina, Heather and Michelle's live chat, you can watch it back in full below...
'Travel The Dead', which stars Katrina and Heather, is shot and produced by Texas-based, Kat Croft, meaning the show has an all-female cast and crew, but Katrina says that this wasn't a conscious decision and that the show fell into place during the pandemic. She explained, "when the pandemic hit, it was just very much a thing of all these places are closed down and we can get into them."
As Katrina and her paranormal BFF, Heather, have been doing private investigations off camera for 16 years as part of their group, Atherton Paranormal, it just made sense for them to go and do it. The duo met Kat Croft, a filmmaker who was keen to get involved. Katrina said, "we just brought Kat into the fold, and it just sort of evolved."
Katrina admitted, "I think we've seen a lot of change over the years and certainly a lot of networks have really, really pushed to have females out in the front more so than it has been in the past, but obviously we still have work to do." She added, "I don't think our industry is different than many other industries that also struggle with the same, trying to find that representation."
'Travel The Dead' premiered on YouTube on April 27 for a five-episode run, which saw Katrina and Heather investigate New Jersey's White Hill Mansion.
If you missed the series, you can watch it in full and for free on Katrina's channel, and be sure to subscribe to make sure you don't miss out on future episodes of the series. You can find Katrina on YouTube at youtube.com/katrinaweidman.
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