Lin detailed her stint working for the ABC drama in her new book, End Credits: How I Broke Up With Hollywood, released on Tuesday, August 29.
“The writers weren’t barred from the set, but we weren’t exactly welcome. Usually we’d only see the cast at table reads, where we’d sit quietly in the back and try not to make eye contact with Teri Hatcher,” Lin wrote.
Desperate Housewives, which also starred Felicity Huffman, Marcia Cross and Eva Longoria, was created by Marc Cherry in 2004. Lin worked on the first season and alleged that she experienced “overt racism” at the hands of Cherry.
“One day at lunch, the topic of Margaret Cho came up, and someone mentioned All-American Girl, Cho’s short-lived sitcom about a Korean American family. Marc turned to me and said, ‘Patty, you should write a show like that.’ I love Margaret Cho, but please don’t lump us together just because we’re both Asian women in show business,” she wrote.
Lin claimed she was among several writers on staff given “busy work of writing the marginally funny material” as Cherry and his “loyal team” of two other writers helmed most of the scripts. When another writer was assigned a script, Lin alleged that Cherry once declared the staff needed to “gang bang” the draft without the knowledge of the original writer.
“With this wildly inefficient system, it’s a miracle that any episodes of Desperate Housewives ever got made. The quality that had attracted me to the pilot — the dark humor — was lost in the slapdash, assembly-line approach to what was supposed to be a creative process,” she wrote.
Lin was let go after ABC picked up the back nine episodes of season 1.
“We were putting out schlock. The fact that it became the hottest show on TV, won multiple awards, ran for eight years, and earned more revenue than God, still boggles my mind,” she concluded.
Cherry has yet to publicly comment on Lin’s book. Hatcher, Huffman, Cross and Longoria previously stood by the showrunner when Nicollette Sheridan alleged in 2010 that she experienced assault and battery, gender violence and wrongful termination on set, which he denied. The lawsuit filed by Sheridan was declared a mistrial.
End Credits: How I Broke Up With Hollywood, which also documents Lin’s time on the sets of Freaks & Geeks, Friends, Breaking Bad and more, is out now.