I am so excited to go see MA’AM, an all female sketch show, here in L.A. tonight. And it’s not just because I co-created this show (although I’m not in it tonight – you can read about my recent shows here and here, if you’re interested), or because it’s starring several of my best friends… It’s also because they’re some of the most talented people in this town and I know I’m going to die laughing the entire time. And, even more importantly, I’m excited because it is starring, written and directed by women.
It’s the stupidest thing in the world that whether or not women are funny is still a conversation. But, it is. The fact that Hollywood is a boys’ club is no joke; the A.C.L.U. recently opened an investigation into Hollywood’s sexism. My friends and I have all faced it. I love to write R-rated comedies that don’t have a lot to do with girls tripping adorably in heels while chasing a man, but I also enjoy wearing make-up and heels; the two aren’t mutually exclusive. I can look like a woman, and write a dick joke. I went to a meeting once with a reputable producer after he liked one of my scripts and, when I showed up, he looked me up and down and said, “You wrote that script? I just want to hear you say the word ‘Pussy.’ Pussy pussy pussy!” Another friend’s agent told her it would be a lot easier to make her career happen if she were single. Statistically, women only represent 7 percent of directors, 11 percent of writers, and 18 percent of editors on the most successful films over the past 17 years. I can’t tell you the number of times I’ve been told, “They loved your script but already have enough female comedies,” or “They loved your script but there aren’t enough female actresses who could play the role. If Melissa McCarthy says ‘no,’ there’s no one,” or “They loved your script but passed because the two leads are female,” because it would be too depressing to count. That’s a problem. Not to mention super gross. And archaic. And just plain wrong.
Because people want to see women represented. This past weekend, Pitch Perfect 2 beat Mad Max: Fury Road at the box office. By a lot. Bridesmaids’ total worldwide gross is $288,383,523, according to my Googling. There is an audience, and they come out in droves when Hollywood makes a movie for them, not pandering to them. I’m a girlie girl who could not be more excited to be getting married, but I would much rather see a woman take a dump in a sink than pine after a schlubby manchild or play straight woman to the funny men.
So, I’m not just going to MA’AM tonight to support my friends. I’m going to support women in comedy. Nothing talks louder than money, and the best way for us to get more opportunities is to continue proving that evening out the playing field in Hollywood isn’t simply “politically correct,” it’s a smart business move. So, let’s sell tonight’s show out and have the best time laughing at these brilliant ladies for just $10, before they’re tearing up our TV and movie screens and are way too famous to be donning wigs in Hollywood on a random Wednesday night.
And, if you want to jump up on my soap box with me, here is some more reading to get you fired up: