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Director / CrewWe are Casey Johnson, David Windsor and Stacy Traub and are the showrunners of the ABC comedy series, The Real O’Neals. Ask Us Anything!

Mar 14th 2017 by TheREALONeals • 7 Questions • 188 Points

My short bio: We are privacy experts fighting for your digital rights in Washington, DC. Broadband privacy is at risk under the new administration. Ask us anything!

reddit.com/u/PublicKnowledgeDC:

Chris Lewis, Vice President at Public Knowledge

Dallas Harris, Policy Fellow at Public Knowledge

reddit.com/u/JayACLU: Jay Stanley, Senior Policy Analyst for the ACLU Speech, Privacy, and Technology Project

reddit.com/u/FPGauravLaroia: Gaurav Laroia, Policy Counsel at Free Press

My Proof: http://imgur.com/a/xk1h3

Edit: Thank you for asking such great questions during our AMA hour! We're wrapping up now, at 2:05pm EST, but we'll try to check in later today to see if we missed any.

Q:

When ABC decides whether or not to renew, will they take into consideration how important this show is to LGBT youth-especially in this political climate? It's such a positive show.

A:

What basic steps should everyone take for broadband privacy?


Q:

We hope they do, and we know they understand how much good we're doing for the community. Thanks for being such a great fan!

A:

There are no guarantees, but my colleague from the ACLU has a link to best practices he will share.

But the first step should be to demand that Congress not repeal the current rules. Without them, ISPs don't have to tell you when your information has been breached. They also wouldn't have to ask your permission to share personal information like SS#, geolocation, and web browsing history.


Q:

You guys do good work! I watch this with my 14yr old son and we end up having great discussions about things like being different, confidence, family, and the love that he can always depend on at home, no matter who he is as he becomes a young man. So yeah, thanks! So here's my question since the mod deleted my comment for not having a question. Do you get feedback from parents and kids?

A:

Who is in charge of regulating broadband providers--Congress, the FCC, the FTC, something else? And why?


Q:

Yes, many kids tweet to us and Noah from around the world saying that his character gives them hope. We also hear from parents who say that the show has helped them understand and talk to their gay son or daughter. It's nice to see a version of yourself on TV. We feel so lucky that we could give these people a voice and something recognizable on TV.

A:

Right now, Congress placed the FCC in charge of broadband privacy, through Title II of the Communications Act. The FCC is the sector expert on communications networks, while the FTC has jurisdiction over broad privacy (read: not communications networks) like on websites and average companies. Most Americans have access to only one broadband provider. Maybe two. That's a local monopoly. Because there's little competition for broadband networks, protecting consumers in this specific market is so much more important. That's why the FCC created broadband rules last year. There were rules for telephones for decades, but the FCC wanted to make sure the broadband rules were applicable for the broadband age.


Q:

What is the very best cheese?

A:

Who in government is responsible for creating online privacy rules to protect consumers? Don't we already have rules in place?


Q:

Stacy likes aged gouda.

David likes a stinky bleu.

Casey is going to go out on a limb and say fondue.

A:

The FCC is the agency responsible for creating rules to protect your privacy online. They did pass rules in October to protect consumers, but right now those rules are about to be eliminated using the CRA. The rules have not even gone into effect yet. - DH


Q:

What was your original idea for the S2 finale, before ABC decided to give you 3 more episodes? Was Brett still supposed to leave Kenny?

A:

Domain names, unencrypted data, volume of encrypted data. Check out this great report by Upturn on "what ISPs can see": https://www.teamupturn.com/reports/2016/what-isps-can-see


Q:

Actually, Brett and Kenny were supposed to get back together on Valentine's Day and we were toying with the idea of meeting Brett's family and of Jimmy dating Brett's BFF Christi.

A:

Yes! You are essentially unprotected right now. There are no rules of the road governing what ISPs are allowed to do with your data. ISPs know when you're online, how long you're online, every website you visit. Think about what they can learn about you just from that information alone. They know when you're home and when you're not. They can glean whether there are children in your house, which devices they are using, your political views, and any number of other things about you and your household. - DH


Q:

Really? So, why did you change your mind about it?

A:

Where have the title II questions / bills ended up, and what impact could that have on privacy? Is it done, dead, or just in need of a revamp?

If not Title II, what's the most direct path toward an Internet connection (Of any speed) being considered a simple digital pipe, moving data from one place to many places and vice versa without being charged more for the digital equivalent of taking showers vs. washing clothes?


Q:

We didn't feel like we had enough time to tell the stories in a fully realized way, and we wanted to see Kenny go through his first breakup.

There's always a chance in Season 3 that Kenny and Brett could get back together!

A:

Members of Congress, like Chairman Thune have been openly critical of Title II and have made clear their intention to undo broadband reclassification (check out yesterday's FCC oversight hearing http://www.commerce.senate.gov/public/index.cfm/hearings?ID=B9D3B299-E3CC-480A-B09B-1DEF0512A57C )

There's no actual bill yet in Congress but undoing reclassification would be a disaster for broadband privacy. Section 222 of the Communications Act (the privacy law) only applies to broadband providers because of Title II.

Title II is the direct and right path. It's incredibly important not to let those consumer protections be overturned in favor of letting broadband companies themselves dictate terms to consumers. thanks!


Q:

What was your process or break getting into the industry? What's your story of your humble beginnings?

A:

On a personal level, what are a few of your favorite films?


Q:

All three of us started off as writers assistants working horrible hours late into the night. David and Casey were on Two Guys, a Girl and a Pizza Place and Stacy was on Mad About You.

But those terrible jobs are great ways to learn how to break a story and be in a writers room.

A:

I like the Godfather... After all, we don't oppose Senator Flake, Senator Thune, Rep. Marsha Blackburn, Senator McConnell, FCC Chairman Pai, and others trying to repeal the rules because we dislike them personally. "Its Just Business".


Q:

I was a writers' PA and briefly a writers' asst before getting some writing opportunities.

I agree that they can be terrible, but in the long run they humble you and brace you for what's to come.

A:

Children of Men, Easy A, Independence Day, and The Whole 9 Yards.

In order of least to most embarrassing.


Q:

Plus, you get really good at typing. And bad experiences give you stuff to write about.

A:

Hook, American History X - DH


Q:

Hi love the show! What was the most difficult episode to write, and why?

A:

The Real Match, the episode where Kenny joins the wrestling team.

It started off as a story about a homophobic baker who wouldn't sell a cake to a gay couple who was getting married. We wanted to do a story about homophobia, but we realized the baker wasn't enough about Kenny's life, so we had to come up with a whole new story.


Q:

Do you have a guest star (or guest writer) wish list for next season? If so, who would you love to have on the show?

A:

Ellen Degeneres is our dream guest star for one of Kenny's fantasies. Maybe Kerry Washington could date Pat for an episode? And always, George Takei!

We did a mashup with a Sia song in the Christmas episode and we'd love to have on the show. She could wear whatever wig she wanted.


Q:

What inspired you guys to create the show? Are some of the stories based on personal life experiences? Keep up the fantastic work!

A:

The show is loosely based on Dan Savage's life, but week in and week out most of our stories come from our amazing writers, half of whom are gay (and some of whom are divorced) who are willing to share their personal lives with America.

Thank you for watching!


Q:

Is this show more important now than ever before given the current political climate?

A:

We think it is. In a climate of fear, our show about acceptance and love can help people see that being different isn't so scary.


Q:

What's the most menial task a showrunner must do? What prop or furniture would you like to take home (and might)?

A:

Going through the background actors' wardrobe is probably the most menial task.

David took home the hideous rhinoceros water pitcher. Stacy took an apron from the kitchen and a Pope plate. Casey stole an owl piggy bank. We also all have mugs from Rainbow Grind -- but they were given to us! The first things we stole.


Q:

Which episode(s) are your fav ones?

A:

The Real Match when Kenny joins the wrestling team, The Real Halloween with Kenny as Beyonce, The Real Grandma, and one of our favorites is the Season 2 finale TONIGHT at 9:30PM.

What are your favorites?


Q:

I did love a lot The Real Grandma. Frances Conroy was amazing! The Real Sin is also one of my favorite x) Really funny!

A:

The Real Grandma was nominated for a Humanitas Award and we are really proud of it. Frances Conroy is everything!