As for the letter's substance, I'm relieved to hear that the show's current female staffers feel highly valued and don't find Jon Stewart to be a sexist ass. Selfishly, it'll make it easier for me to continue to enjoy the show, and I will feel that much better about the world if I can believe in one more mainstream space where funny women can thrive. But the letter entirely misses some of the valid issues that the original Jezebel post raises. What of the fact that, as Irin Carmon writes, the show hasn't taken on a new female correspondent in seven years? That female correspondents have generally "been a short-lived phenomenon" on the show? And that when it comes to television comedy as a whole, women are "universally scarce, whether in the writer's room or on the air"?
Ignoring and discounting these well-documented issues seems defensive and maybe even, dare I say, traitorous (and that's coming from someone who cringes at the word "sisterhood"). I'm not demanding a sober dissertation on the current state of women in comedy or anything -- but if "The Daily Show" has taught us anything, it's that it's possible to be both politically incisive and riotously funny. You won't find me holding the show's women to a lesser standard.
What do they want? Do they want a funnier show, or just more vaginas on the show?
I never tried to use anything besides my own sweat and blood and talent to get somewhere. I think that anyone who’s out there trying to bring down why any woman would get anywhere, or why we’re different, just needs to fucking turn her fucking computer off, take the sandwich out of her mouth and go for a goddamn walk fucking walk. You know what? Just walk it off, bitch. Just walk it off, bitch.
...maybe it's because the current team, as they have it, is working just fine?
Seriously -- if you were running a business, and that business was wildly successful and had a well-working team, you wouldn't just decide to up and fire some of those team members because "oh, we need more women in here", would you?
I was always completely put off by the willful stupidity that the correspondents on the Daily Show seem to be requested/required to exhibit.
Jezebel mentions Kristen Schaal, who I absolutely adore in everything I've seen her in. They also say that she is a regular contributor (maybe not regular enough for my taste), and not a correspondent.
Probably the most beautiful, and most implicitly incisive, part of TDS' response is the lack of linking/mentioning Jezebel.
Because there are a lot of unspoken assumptions about what is allowable and what is funny coming from a women, and there's a strong double standard -- men can get away with comedy that women are criticized for.
Salon: Are you tired of talking about the Jezebel story?
Munn: No. But I would really like to make a point that no one knew what the fuck Jezebel was before that story came out.
Salon: Well, I knew what Jezebel was.
Munn: You do, it's in your world. But people in Hollywood didn't know what Jezebel was. "The Daily Show" didn't know what Jezebel was. But this article was picked up and pushed out and these women sit behind this very thin veil that I can see right through, this idea that "we stand up for women." If you stand up for women, then don't bash me.
This woman at Slate wrote a very interesting article that all my friends at G4 have been e-mailing me [Emily Gould's piece, "How feminist blogs gin up page views"]. I kept seeing this over and over -- they're attaching my name to things to get more hits. But what's more frustrating is that they've been given some kind of power as the voice of women, and they are not. If they were, then they would have done a better of job of interviewing people actually currently working on the show.
The interviews were with people who worked there seven years ago. There were people who weren't even regulars. And at the end of the day, the reason why you don't know who any of those people are is because "The Daily Show" didn't find them funny.
That story hurt a lot of people's feelings. I'm not talking about Jon Stewart. I'm talking about the women who work there and the women who came before me. "Oh, I'm the pretty girl who came in?" That means that Nancy Carell isn't gorgeous? Like all these other women who have been there aren't beautiful women? Jon Stewart hires people that he thinks are funny. That's it. That's the only requirement.
Or, you know, not. Because Olivia Munn is not the one running this show. If she weren’t willing to play this role, she wouldn’t have her job; if she didn’t have her job, someone else would. And even if, by some miraculous circumstance, there were no girls in the entire universe willing to do this job, the dudes still wouldn’t let you in. They wouldn’t change their expectations.
Olivia Munn: "I'm easy to hate. I get it"
Or ... maybe you signed the letter because you agree with the contents?
But it's not hard to imagine that one or more of the women on that list read the letter and thought to herself,
That's not at all the same thing as saying there's no information whatsoever to be drawn from the letter.
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