Sunday, December 23, 2012
Judd The Sexist (Marcia, Ann, Ava and C.I.)
Judd Apatow is 'guest editor' for the latest issue of Vanity Fair. As the four who wrote "We do not embrace sexism (Marcia, Ann, Ava and C.I.)," "We do not embrace sexism (Marcia, Ann, Ava and C.I.)" and "We do not embrace sexism (Marcia, Ann, Ava and C.I.)," we were curious about the issue. See, in that piece, we noted a plain fact:
Judd Apatow is her enabler, sponsor and the executive producer of her show. Apatow's sexism in film after film -- yes, that does include Bridesmaids -- is well known.
But some people had a problem with it. Judd, they insisted, was not a sexist.
So thank you, Vanity Fair, for allowing the pig to edit. This is the magazine's comedy issue. There are three different covers -- we went with the one featuring Leslie Mann (married to Apatow), Melissa McCarthy, Paul Rudd and non-comic Megan Fox.
Apatow isn't responsible for the entire issue, just for a segment beginning on page 53. That's where "The Comedy Portfolio" kicks off.
The first two page spread (we're not outtakes from the various covers) features Steve Martin and Apatow. Then an interview with Chris Rock (conducted by Apatow) and a full page photo of Jorma Taccone, Andy Samberg and Akiva Schaffer, then two pages featuring Mindy Kaling, Aubrey Plaza, Zooey Deschanel and Dakota Johnson. Then a page photo featuring Bo Burnham, Amy Schumer, Chelsea Peretti, Reggie Watts, Hannibal Buress and John Mulaney. a one page essay by Conan O'Brien, a two page photo spread of Mel Brooks and Carl Reiner, a page of "The Masters" Norman Lear, James L. Brooks, Roseanne Barr, David Milch, Paul Reubens and Garry Shandling, a one page photo of Jim Carrey, a one page photo of Will Farrell, 2/3 of a page of a drawing of Zach Galifianakis and a mini-essay from him with the other third being four minor paragraphs by Sarah Silverman, a two page spread of Sarah Silverman reclining with six unidentified elderly people. And that's the photo essay.
Did you catch how many men were there versus how many women?
Let's count it or you.
Want to explain to us again how Apatow's not a sexist pig?
We'll come back to the photo essay. He also 'guest edited' a look at a comedy film: The Blues Brothers. It's a funny film. It's not the funniest. If Vanity Fair was going to highlight a film from that period, it should have probably gone with Tootsie which is a comic masterpiece. But Judd Apatow probably finds Tootsie too 'challenging.' Endless photos of Dan Aykroyd, John Belushi and John Landis (no mention of how Landis is responsible for the death of Jennifer Jason Leigh's father). Then a lengthy profile on comic actor Martin Short. Endless pages on Apatow's failed TV show Freaks and Geeks. Then Judd inteviews Albert Brooks. Then Judd has Sam Kashner interview Elaine May and Mike Nichols. So a TV feature, a movie feature and three profiles -- profiling three men and one woman.
Still want to pretend he's not a pig?
Let's go back to "The Masters" for those who don't get it.
Remember how Roseanne was the only woman included? Here's what Apatow writes, "ROSEANNE BARR kicked down the door for women in comedy with her groundbreaking show. More important, she gave me one of my first jobs, writing jokes for her, when I was broke and unqualified."
So we can blame Roseanne for Apatow? Good to know.
But about that first sentence?
Roseanne did what?
Roseanne's sitcom Roseanne is a groundbreaking show. But it's not groundbreaking for women. It's groundbreaking for dealing with taboos, it's groundbreaking for being funny.
Lucille Ball broke down the doors for women in TV comedy and did it before Roseanne told her first joke. Mary Tyler Moore was next. And if Judd had bothered to speak to Carl Reiner, he'd know that. Moore was hired to play Rob's wife on The Dick Van Dyke Show because of her pretty looks. And that was her role on the show until Carl discovered, to his surprise, that she could be funny. Mary Tyler Moore was hilarious on that show and on The Mary Tyler Moore Show. Presumably, Judd Apatow believes Goldie Hawn is funny since, for one cover of the funny issue, his wife dressed up as Goldie from her Laugh-In days. Goldie was hilarious on Laugh-In. Seventies television would feature comedic performances from Bea Arthur, Marla Gibbs, Jean Stapleton, Penny Marshall, Cindy Williams, Nell Carter, Suzanne Somers, Gilda Radner, Jane Curtin, Laraine Newman, Ja'net Dubois, Betty White, Cloris Leachman and Valerie Harper, among others.
All of those women -- and many more -- were making audiences laugh before Roseanne ever got her own sitcom. By the time Roseanne finally got a sitcom, Candice Bergen had already spent a year on CBS getting laughs in Murphy Brown.
We don't begrudge Roseanne any praise she's earned. But you have to be a real idiot to think Roseanne kicked down any doors for women in TV comedy.
Women have to repeatedly reinvent the wheel exactly because of men like Judd Apatow who repeatedly want to erase their contributions. All the women who came before Roseanne are erased -- probably because Judd didn't work on their shows. The word for erasing the accomplishments of women is "sexism."
Judd Apatow is a sexist and we thank Vanity Fair for allowing him to 'guest-edit' a portion of the magazine because it really underscores just what a sexist pig he is.
Lily Tomlin received no two page spread. Jane Curtin wasn't included despite starring in three successful comedy shows (Saturday Night Live, Kate and Allie and 3rd Rock From The Sun). Goldie Hawn and Cher were aped on the covers but they don't pop up in a photo essay, so many women who've consistently been funny are ignored and rendered invisible.
But, again, he can and did feature Megan Fox. Fox might become a great comic actress but for now she's known for popcorn films and for her body. Only a sexist would go out of his way to overlook many wonderful women of comedy to include Fox.