- Jeff Bezos’ girlfriend allegedly sent his nudes to her brother, who then leaked them Saturday 6:38 PM
- This Instagram account catches influencers in the wild Saturday 5:42 PM
- The best upcoming video games to look out for in February 2020 Saturday 5:23 PM
- TikTok teens use AirPods and Google Translate to secretly talk in class Saturday 4:32 PM
- Video shows corpses of coronavirus victims lying in China hospital Saturday 3:44 PM
- Kid meets Slipknot after drumming video goes viral Saturday 2:30 PM
- Channing Tatum responds to troll who tried to compare Jenna Dewan and Jessie J’s looks Saturday 1:46 PM
- Grindr pulls an ‘I don’t know her’ after Eminem suggests he uses the app Saturday 12:48 PM
- Here are the top 10 most popular Instagram models in 2020 Saturday 12:21 PM
- ‘The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina’ takes its characters on a fantasy adventure to Hell in season 3 Saturday 11:37 AM
- Woman no longer in sorority, school after racist MLK post Saturday 10:45 AM
- Netflix’s ‘Miss Americana’ starts to deconstruct the myth of Taylor Swift Saturday 10:32 AM
- Teens charged with attempted arson after participating in TikTok ‘outlet challenge’ Saturday 8:56 AM
- ‘American Dirt’ is a metaphor for a white country built on the back of immigrants Saturday 6:00 AM
- This woman told two students to ‘speak English’ and people are not having it Friday 9:53 PM
Adult Swim, the home of Cartoon Network’s adult programming, is demonstrably bad at hiring women to work on its shows. And according to the man in charge, this is partly because women “don’t like conflict,” and are therefore ill-suited to writing comedy.
A new Buzzfeed report found that “according to available creator credits on 58 series and miniseries aired by Adult Swim, only 1 out of every 34 credits went to women.” Conversely, Nielsen ratings indicate that 42 percent of Adult Swim’s audience are women.
In a statement to Buzzfeed, Adult Swim said that “women have contributed significantly to Adult Swim’s success,” although some former employees said the network had a passive attitude to finding new female talent. This adds up to some pretty bad PR for Adult Swim, worsened by an awkward response from executive vice president Mike Lazzo.
Lazzo is credited with turning Adult Swim into an essential destination for weird, cult TV fans, and Buzzfeed quoted an anecdote where he said, “When you have women in the writers room, you don’t get comedy, you get conflict.” Responding on Reddit, Lazzo posted this correction:
“What I actually said was-women don’t tend to like conflict, comedy often comes from conflict, so that’s probably why we (or others) have so few female projects. Nonetheless this was a dumb answer to a good question as Lucille Ball and Gilda Rather to Amy Poelher and Amy Schumer prove my statement a load of generalized nonsense.”
He went on to say he is “very accessible” at work, but the damage was already done. The idea that women “don’t tend to like conflict” felt like a new version of an ancient comedy adage: “Women aren’t funny.”
if you think women just cause problems in comedy you’re probably incapable of writing humor that isn’t offensive, racist or sexist
— shan murphy (@acornfriend) October 4, 2016
I think it’s clear from my tumultuous personal life that I like conflict and am thus a safe addition to your animation writers’ room.
— Hope Larson (@hopelarson) October 4, 2016
Adult Swim is home to an animated show where convicted rapist Mike Tyson voices a lovable, crime-solving version of himself. This year, it also launched a sketch comedy series that appears to be targeted at alt-right trolls, marketed as a show to “unlock your closeted bigoted imagination.” It’s not difficult to spot the feedback loop between Adult Swim’s lack of women creatives and the prevalence of sexist and tone-deaf programming.
Compared to the 1-in-5 gender split among creators across all TV networks, Adult Swim clearly has a problem. It’s a crossover point between two male-dominated industries, comedy and animation, which both rely on close collaboration between creators. This kind of issue often doesn’t go away unless the people in charge are proactive about solving it.
Gavia Baker-Whitelaw is a staff writer at the Daily Dot, covering geek culture and fandom. Specializing in sci-fi movies and superheroes, she also appears as a film and TV critic on BBC radio. Elsewhere, she co-hosts the pop culture podcast Overinvested. Follow her on Twitter: @Hello_Tailor