Thursday, October 06, 2016

This guy is a fucking idiot!

And surprise – I'm not referring to a political candidate!

It’s Mike Lazzo, the executive vice president and creative director of Adult Swim.

He was accused recently of purposely not hiring women creators or showrunners because (are you ready?): “When you put women in the writers room, you get conflict, not comedy.”

What an asinine, idiotic, short-sided, WRONG thing to say. Seriously, how does this moron have this job?

It’s such a staggeringly ignorant statement that it almost doesn’t seem worthy of argument.

Let me just say this: Female writers are every bit as good and funny as male writers and in many cases better.  Period.  Unlike this buffoon, I’ve been in writing rooms with women writers. I've hired women writers.  I've relied on women writers.  My statement is a fact.

According to a Buzzfeed report, Adult Swim employs the lowest number of female writers of any network. 1 in 34 are women. And according to Buzzfeed based on information passed on by employees, it is Lazzo who is responsible.

On Monday he tried to clear it up. Here’s what he said: “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.

Okay, so compare that to his earlier statement where he said the problem was women give you conflict, not comedy. Now he’s saying the problem is women don’t give you conflict.

It's just mind boggling.

And he’s proud of his assertion and his policy.   Even if it's just lip service, you think he would apologize and promise to hire more women.   But no, not even that. 

There’s been a big push to increase diversity in all ranks of television, which is far overdue. But when you see how few women writers are being hired – in general, not just on Adult Swim – make sure you include them in the diversity category.

And you can see why it’s so difficult for them – backward-thinking executives like Mike Lazzo are in positions of power.

Oh, and by the way, it’s also why television is not nearly as good as it could be.

31 comments:

dandy_lio said...

A Twitter post summed this up perfectly for me:

BrideOfRonchenstein ‏@ronchronchronch Oct 4
Adult Swim airs a show where convicted rapist Mike Tyson solves crimes with a cartoon pigeon, but women in the writer's room create conflict

This isn't about what women will or won't do in the writer's room, it's about whether or not women can be seen as 'good enough' to make it. It's just mind boggling.

Peter said...

Tell 'em, Ken!

Is Lazzo related to Trump? He seems to share his views on women.

Matt said...

Last night I watched part of an episode of Seinfeld when they had written their TV pilot. Elaine was pissed there was no character like her in the script. Jerry eventually admitted it was because he didn't understand women enough to write dialogue for them. He had no idea what they were supposed to say. Is this a real problem in a writers room? Are there a substantial number of male writers who can't write female characters?

Matthew Kugler said...

Not to mention, he also horrifyingly gives shows to an anti-Semite pushing white supremacy propaganda...

https://www.buzzfeed.com/josephbernstein/the-alt-right-has-its-own-comedy-tv-show-on-a-time-warner-ne?utm_term=.bhBMdmzWD#.gh7XWm65M

A. L. Crivaro said...

It's not just Adult Swim either. Cartoon Network (or the executives thereof) is hugely sexist itself. A number of years ago they cancelled a wonderful AND well-rated show called Tower Prep because "too many girls liked it" and "girls don't buy action figures." I guess no one told that to my wife who has an entire curio devoted to Transformers.

Joseph Scarbrough said...

How is this any different from how people say women aren't as good performers as men are in comedy? I mean, I guess the fact that SNL bred the likes of Tina Fey, Amy Poehler, and Maya Rudolph, or WHOSE LINE gave us Kathy Greenwood, or WORLD'S DUMBEST... had Chelsea Peretti and Jaime Andrews somehow doesn't prove any of them wrong? Come to think of it, a lot of people complain these fine, comedic ladies did nothing for their respective appearances by contribute sex appeal and nothing else: that's still the biggest complaint I see from people about Cicely Strong and Kate McKinnon.

Peter said...

Joseph

I get that you think sex is disgusting and you find women objectionable. That much is obvious from your many posts in the past in which you've said things like the sight of two people kissing is practically obscene. But to say Tina Fey, Amy Poehler and Maya Rudolph aren't funny is just plain stupid. I'm not familiar with Kathy Greenwood, Chelsea Peretti and Jaime Andrews, but it hardly matters as you basically say the view that women aren't as good as men at doing comedy has not been proved wrong.

I'm assuming you're here because you at least watched Cheers, though I don't know how you could have, given Sam's playboy lifestyle and the many sex jokes that were in the show, but if you did and you saw the performances and comedic timing of Shelley Long, Rhea Perlman and Kirstie Alley, I don't know how you can seriously say women can't be funny.

Paul Duca said...

I don't care how many women write for it, I'll never like Adult Swim...I guess I'm too old and straight for it.

ScottyB said...

I've gt a Friday Question for Ken: Last night, I was watching the latest episode of "Designated Survivor," which has been pretty damn riveting. However, the first five minutes (or a similarly painfully long amount of time) were spent listing what seemed like 50 producers, co-producers, executive producers, co-executive producers, associate produers, consulting producers, etcetcetc. I'm sitting there thinking holy shit, the number of producers on this show must outnumber the number of extras.

So my question: What the hell?

Matt said...

Peter,

I think you are reading Joseph's post entirely wrong. All the women he named he considers good.

Wally said...

@ScottyB
I thought Ken has covered this before and I quickly Googled "Ken Levine Producer Credit Blogs" and got at least 4 hits.

When you have a prod co + network + writers who are producers + big star (Kiefer), etc, you're right it adds up to ungodly amounts. It can also include Line Producers (later in the series) and others (ie Wanda Chaffey is co-producer and appears to be an LP).

That's why I loved the Deadpool opening credits.

Anonymous said...

Peter,

I didn't take that from Joseph's comment at all. I got a large dose of sarcasm in there rather than agreement with adult swim. I may be wrong, but, in this particular case, that's how I read it.

Pam, St. Louis.

emily said...

mike lazzo (HIS lowercase, not mine) was still trying to wiggle out of his initial comment when he posted this, "...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..."

Gilda Rather? Gilda RATHER?

He then went on, blaming his parents for his character flaws, "...I do sometimes yell and I'm not proud of it. (Inherited.)..."

How does an uninformed idiot like this get this kind of job? Was the Mailroom gig taken?

Wendy M. Grossman said...

I've got an idea. How about putting this guy in a cage match with Roseanne?

wg

Ellen Cicchitti said...

Ken, thank you for writing this. I'm always astounded by the sheer lack of female writers in any television program. Films are starting to get a higher concentration, but it's still unbelievably low. This is exactly why I want to hone my comedic writing and try and get into television and film. Granted, it may not work, but I want to challenge these small-minded executives in any way I can!

Keep being an inspiring writer, Ken! It was so amazing meeting you at the Village Players of Hatboro.

Breadbaker said...

If a woman had made a similar comment about hiring male writers (even for a single show focused on women and not a generic block of time like Adult Swim, which should apparently be renamed "Men's Pool Time"), it would be the subject of several weeks of commentary on Fox News and conservative talk radio.

Anonymous said...

In Defense of Adult Swim Dude...

Guy vs Gal reacting to Conflict:

http://www.liveleak.com/view?i=0a3_1475561016

That is all.

VP81955 said...

The lady in my avatar (born 108 years ago today, and a major influence on her RKO stablemate Lucille Ball) is checking to see what sort of karma would be best for this sexist moron.

I'm a man who enjoys creating vivid, assertive roles for women -- and would have no qualm with women in the writers' room. (However, I'm more film than TV-oriented.)

Joseph Scarbrough said...

Wow, Peter, thanks for being an asshole and completely twisting my comment into something I didn't even say, imply, or infer, simply because you don't like comments I've made on this blog in the past, and you somehow seem to think you've got me all figured out by reading inbetween lines when there's nothing there.

Ya know what? I'm not even going to bother with this blog anymore. I only started following it years ago because I'm a fan of Ken's work, and have enjoyed all of the insight of the entertainment business from his own perspective on both a professional and personal level; the anecdotes he's shared over the years have opened my eyes to the dark side of the entertainment industry, and how much corporate influence has tainted film and television over the past several years.

I get it, okay? You guys don't like my opinions, I get it, but I'm tired of you guys being assholes and treating me like a village idiot because I share a difference of opinion. My opinion may differ from the rest of yours, and I may get sarcastic at times (that much, you're right about, Peter, but this time, you're entirely misinformed), but I've tried to remain civil and diplomatic on this blog, because it got to a point where Ken had no other choice but to enforce comment moderation because things were getting out of hand with trolls and such . . . and a majority of the time when I comment on this blog, the rest of you seem to almost immediately rip me a new one because you're of the opinion that my opinion(s) make me close-minded, uncultured, repressed, oppressed, and an idiot. For the record, I may be vocal (verbal?) about my opinion, but I'm not alone; if you bother to look at clips of older shows and movies on YouTube, you'll see comments from other people out there who feel the same way I do.

But again, I've had it, and this is the final straw. All I did was comment on Ken's post for today, and add to the topic at hand, and now I get ripped to shreds over something that somebody sees in my comment that wasn't there to begin with. I don't wish to put up with this kind of crap anymore, so I'm just going to do this whole blog a big favor and stop following, stop reading, and most of all, stop commenting, and I'm sure you all will be dancing in the streets because of it.

Oh, and for the record . . . could somebody please care to point out any specific time when I allegedly said I hate women? Because I sure can't ever remember posting anything of the sort, though Peter claims I always do. The only woman I can remember ever dismissing on this blog is Amy Schumer, because, yes, all she's ever done is build her career on being a hoe. What other women have I mentioned unfavorably on this blog? I must be suffering from a memory lapse or something, because I can't remember any others.

MikeN said...

ScottyB, it could be a large number of the died during the production of the first episode.

Cap'n Bob said...

Joe, I read your post exactly as you meant it and was amazed that anyone interpreted it otherwise.

And Pete, before you make gratuitous swipes at Trump, why not see how many women he employs in his many enterprises? You speak from a position of ignorance.

Anonymous said...

Suzanne Pleshette on Bob Newhart was as funny as any woman in television.
The only ones in the same class were Lucy and Imogene Coca.

H Johnson said...

You guys are surprised that the creepy little weirdo who never had a date that didn't start with his Amex number doesn't understand women? Just look at him. And look at Adult Swim's demographic. I know virtually nothing about Lazzo, so I Googled him. Took about 38 seconds to an aha moment.

My theory for quite some time has been that the world is now being run by the kids who got beat up in high school. Not advocating bullying mind you, just saying.

Lazzo is the booger eater that sat in the back of class and drew Nazi bombers shooting at Godzilla on his Peachy folder.

The real question is how he got his job. But really, who cares about Adult Swim? Let's just all be happy for the women that don't have to work with him. They're the winners.

Aloha

Ken Levine said...

Hey, play nice guys. This is a fun blog. If people start ripping each other I'm going to start just blocking their comments. I don't need that shit. So let this serve as a fair warning. I don't want my readers fleeing because they're being attacked in the comments section. You're all welcome to have differing opinions but not to where you're attacking each other. I won't tolerate it any longer.

Donald Benson said...

Back in the day I was a big fan of "Harvey Birdman, Attorney at Law" and "Robot Chicken". Yes, they seemed to be targeting the inner preteen of aging boomer males, but they did it well. The rest of their schedule seemed to be targeting the same audience, but without the consistent quality.

"Venture Brothers" and "Moral Orel" were good occasional fun, but how many post-boomers are that aware of "Jonny Quest" and "Davey and Goliath" to get all the gags?

Not having checked it out in recent seasons, who are they targeting now?



Mike said...

Whatever you do, Peter, don't tell 'em you're English.

Peter said...

I apologize to Joseph for misunderstanding his comment. He doesn't need to stop reading this blog. I won't make comments about his opinions in future.

Thomas Mossman said...

I don't watch anything on Adult Swim and after this, I feel like I'm better for it.

Loosehead said...

Its been a long time since we had a flame war on here. My last one was a misunderstanding with VP81955 that I still regret everytime I see his posts. Joseph, don't go. You probably won't read this if you're already gone, but I've always enjoyed your comments. Peter, you must be American if you don't understand sarcasm - and thats a lovable characteristic of some Americans, not a criticism.

VP81955 said...

Loosehead, I don't recall the particulars of our "misunderstanding," and even if I did it's water under the bridge. Let's cool it, everybody.

Johnny Walker said...

So grim. He shouldn't be allowed to get away with this. What a Grade A ignorant prick. I'm especially upset because I'm a fan of Adult Swim's output. If there isn't a change, I will have to reconsider that position.

And for all the assholes who attacked the last Ghostbusters movie for containing women, here's more evidence, if any were needed, that prejudice that does exist.