So here’s the big controversy of the moment: Adam Carolla is getting fucking hammered for an interview he did where he said that, in his experience, female TV writers tend to not be as funny as male TV writers. This is his exact quote:
Q: The lesson you learned from a sexual harassment seminar was “Don’t hire chicks.” Do you hate working with women?
No. But they make you hire a certain number of chicks, and they’re always the least funny on the writing staff. The reason why you know more funny dudes than funny chicks is that dudes are funnier than chicks. If my daughter has a mediocre sense of humor, I’m just gonna tell her, “Be a staff writer for a sitcom. Because they’ll have to hire you, they can’t really fire you, and you don’t have to produce that much. It’ll be awesome.”
Q: The “are women funny” debate has grown very contentious. You’re not worried about reactions to this?
I don’t care. When you’re picking a basketball team, you’ll take the brother over the guy with the yarmulke. Why? Because you’re playing the odds. When it comes to comedy, of course there’s Sarah Silverman, Tina Fey, Kathy Griffin — super-funny chicks. But if you’re playing the odds? No. If Joy Behar or Sherri Shepherd was a dude, they’d be off TV. They’re not funny enough for dudes. What if Roseanne Barr was a dude? Think we’d know who she was? Honestly.
Seriously, that is what the uproar is about. All he said is that in his experience, male TV writers are funnier than women TV writers. He didn’t say women aren’t funny, or can’t be funny, or there are no funny women. He just talked about his experiences with female TV writers in the writing room. But people are losing their fucking minds.
Look at this situation; a famous guy does an interview promoting his book. This is one of like 100 of these he did. He talks about all sorts of other things, but what narrative does the media pick up? “Adam Carolla says women aren’t funny.” Thats not what he said, thats not what he meant, thats not his point. But that becomes the narrative. Why? Because of one main reason:
It’s not allowable in media for men to say anything that can be even remotely construed as not overwhelmingly positive and aspirational towards women. He is literally not allowed to have a divergent opinion.
I’m not saying he’s not allowed to be a sexist pig or an idiot misogynist. No, no, no, because that’s not what Carolla did. Men aren’t even allowed to have opinions that aren’t completely in line with the dominant female story; if they do, if they are in any way out of line, then they get twisted into a straw man and viciously attacked.
How precisely does this happen? It’s all right there in the interview. Did you notice the shift in the interview that created this controversy? The first question is about sexual harassment in the workplace, and how Adam Carolla deals with it. He gives an answer related to that question, yet the interviewer then shifts the next question to the “are women funny debate.” What the fuck? That’s not what Adam was talking about, and beyond that, I can’t even recall anyone debating if women are funny. Of course they can be funny–who says otherwise? But Carolla doesn’t notice this and takes the bait, and instead of calling this idiocy out, he answers the presumed assumption of the question–that there the ‘are women funny debate’ exists, and by doing that, he’s fucked. By accepting the reporters framing of the question and implicitly accepting the existence of a “are women funny” debate, and he sets himself up as being on the opposite side, and now he’s a target. He was just talking about HIS experience in Hollywood writing rooms, but ends up looking like he’s agreeing with the made up “are women funny” side of the a non-existent debate.
That’s such a subtle maneuver, and everyone missed it, including Carolla, but its all it takes to take a nothing interview and get a dude destroyed. Every media person is falling all over themselves to emphatically declare that Adam Carolla is wrong, that women ARE funny, and that all those sexist pigs can eat shit and die! Except he never said that, no one thinks women can’t be funny, and there is no debate. It’s created so people can use it to display how great they are by being against it.
I’ve been saying this for years–that modern mainstream media is incredibly sexist against MEN–and people made fun of me and said I was being ridiculous. Now look. It’s affecting people who thought they were insulated, people who are part of the mainstream establishment. This is just a tiny example, there are so many more–like how every male comedy TV character is either a pussy, a buffoon, or a scumbag–but this is the fight in mainstream media. You aren’t allowed to have opinions that don’t toe the party line–even though all Adam Carolla did was talk about his life and his experiences, and he didn’t even say what he is being accused of saying.
I could write so much about this and how it impacted me and my career. Now’s not the time though; I would probably whine too much in some parts, and I don’t have the proper distance to see where the opposition actually ended up helping me (indirectly, of course). I will tackle that issue at some point though. It’s not a small one.
[As a side note, did you notice that I didn’t even talk about whether or not I agreed with Carolla? If you didn’t–if instead you automatically just assumed that I agree with him…you’re in their frame.]
[Another side note: One thing I do very much disagree with–Roseanne may be a fucking lunatic, but she is also a comedic genius.]