Does Hotness Diminish Humor? Cont.

[Chris Bodenner]

Susan Silver, a TV writer whose credits include The Mary Tyler Moore Show, asked Hawn a question about ageism at the Aspen talk (and Eisner chimed in with an odd response at the 2:50 mark):

Susan emails her take on our discussion thus far:

As the former Casting Director of Laugh-In, I was so happy to see Goldie again.  And I had worked for Michael a few times.  I was surprised more at the answer he gave to my question about ageism, particularly towards women in the business.  He sort of side-stepped it, saying something like “When we were young we had success …” The way I took it, he implied that now it was others’ chance. Huh?

Ageism is the new sexism. A few years ago, we members of the Writer’s Guild who were affected got a very nice financial settlement and acknowledgement that studios and agencies were ageist.  So I’m not sure what Michael meant as far as beautiful women not being funny; we know that is not true.

Oh well, Goldie was great and is involved in a very important project with education and children’s brains.

More on that project here.

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Does Hotness Diminish Humor? Cont.

[Chris Bodenner]

Eisner emails a response to Spencer’s piece:

In the context of a public conversation with Goldie Hawn in which I was complimenting her on being both beautiful and funny, I said such a combination is hard to come by in Hollywood. I certainly did not say Goldie was the only one. My point was simply that Goldie, unlike many, has not been defined exclusively as one or the other.

But the outrage is already spreading far and wide. On Twitter, Hollywood producer Megan Ellison and comedic actresses Mindy Kaling and Elizabeth Banks slammed Eisner’s remarks. Cable news programs “Fox & Friends” and “The Ed Show” brought on panelists of female comedians to scrutinize the subject. Kathy Griffin commented at length:

Influencers and decision-makers who share the views that Eisner was stupid enough to say out loud actually decide whether or not I work, my career and sometimes my personal fate. People who share his views, and all the other men who think the things about women that he is expressing verbally, should simply be subjected to a panel of women — women of my choosing — who decide his career fate and legacy based on his physical appearance.

The panel might include Amy Schumer, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Tina Fey, and Patricia Arquette:

Schumer, by the way, recently made a whole episode, “12 Angry Men Inside Amy Schumer,” parodying the way men sometimes judge the beauty of female comedians. (Watch one of the brilliant scenes here.) Eisner’s comments also got a lot of scrutiny this week from writers such as Ann Friedman, Amanda Marcotte, and Catherine Rampell. The latter had the strongest original point: Continue reading

Does Hotness Diminish Humor?

[Chris Bodenner]

Yesterday in Aspen, Michael Eisner stirred up controversy during his conversation with Goldie Hawn. Spencer was there:

“From my position, the hardest artist to find is a beautiful, funny woman,” [Eisner] said. “By far. They usually—boy am I going to get in trouble, I know this goes online—but usually, unbelievably beautiful women, you [Goldie Hawn] being an exception, are not funny. […] In the history of the motion-picture business, the number of beautiful, really beautiful women—a Lucille Ball—that are funny, is impossible to find.

You can listen to the full context of those remarks above. Reader Duncan Tweedy doesn’t understand why people are getting so offended:

I don’t think Eisner should be excoriated for this comment. He wasn’t saying women aren’t funny, which is a stupid and indefensible argument. He was merely noticing that “unbelievable” physical beauty makes being a successful female comedian much more difficult. I think there’s plenty of evidence for this. Continue reading