Read More:‘The Simpsons’ Star Nancy Cartwright: 30 Years Later, Bart Simpson Has Become a Grandma — and a First-Time Filmmaker
“I was never invited to be on staff, and I never knew why for the longest time,” she says of her experiences. Eventually the truth came out:
“No one ever called me or explained to me or apologized or anything. And it wasn’t until years later that I found out that Sam Simon, who was the showrunner, didn’t want any women around because he was going through a divorce.
For a show that gave us Lisa Simpson, one of the most feminist TV characters of all time, “The Simpsons” hasn’t always been a welcoming environment for women. Just the opposite in fact, according to Mimi Pond, who wrote the classic sitcom’s inaugural episode, “Simpsons Roasting on an Open Fire.” In an interview with Jezebel, the cartoonist and graphic novelist revealed that her career at “The Simpsons” stalled when then-showrunner Sam Simon insisted on the writers’ room being entirely male.
“I was never invited to be on staff, and I never knew why for the longest time. No one ever called me or explained to me or apologized or anything,” Pond recalled. “And it wasn’t until years later that I found out that Sam Simon, who was the showrunner, didn’t want any women around because he was going through a divorce. It had remained a boys’ club for a good long time. I feel like I was just as qualified as anyone else who came along and got hired on the show, and it was just because I was a woman that I was, you know, not allowed entry into that club.”
Pond continued, “The show is so beloved and everything, and I’m sorry to burst bubbles but [laughs] it wasn’t a pleasant experience for me.”
This isn’t the first time Pond has (rightfully) gone public with her experiences at “The Simpsons.” She also talked about it in an interview with Drawn & Quarterly and on the Maximum Fun/NPR podcast “Bullseye with Jesse Thorn.”
The reports of sexism at “The Simpsons” aren’t exactly shocking. Throughout pop culture and the internet, there are frequent references to the writers’ room being a paradise for new, male Harvard grads. And there has never been a female showrunner in the series’ nearly 28-year history.
It’s disheartening that the people behind Lisa are not practicing what they preach gender equality-wise, but the problem goes much further than “The Simpsons” — or Simon deciding that he can’t be around any women because he was divorcing one (seriously, Wtf?). According to research from Dr. Martha Lauzen, 71 percent of the series during the 2015–16 TV season featured no female writers.
Pond’s semi-autobiographical graphic novel “Over Easy” was published in 2014. The Pen Award winner and New York Times best-seller follows Madge as she works as a waitress in San Francisco after leaving art school. The “Over Easy” sequel, “The Customer Is Always Wrong,” was published earlier this year.
While Pond maintains that the comics world presents more of a level playing field for women, she is not shy about sharing her frustrations with Hollywood. “It’s still kind of ridiculously bad and the pay scale is completely unequal. Whether it’s actors or writers or producers or directors or anything, women are still paid less,” she told Jezebel. “Stories that get made into movies are still dominated by men and choices that men make about what people want to see, which is always about men between the ages of 13 and 34. Women are still relegated to roles in movies of being the supportive helpmate, or the sexy, helpful girlfriend. It’s so tiresome. It’s beyond being sexist, it’s just so boring.”
Season 29 of “The Simpsons” debuts on Fox October 1.
“Simpsons” Writer Mimi Pond on Being Shut Out of All-Male Writers’ Room was originally published in Women and Hollywood on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.
It's the final entry in Wesley's top 100 Christmas TV episodes of all time list, numbers 20 to 1. Merry Christmas to all!
Read entries 100 - 81 here, entries 80 - 61 here, entries 60 - 41 here, and entries 40 - 21 here.
Since the medium’s infancy, viewers have enjoyed sharing holidays with their favourite television characters. We grow invested in our friends on screen over the years; spending Christmas with them is a rite of passage, a chance for us to share tradition from our world with the fictional ones we see on screen. Some shows embrace the season wholeheartedly, characters in good spirits and enjoying the trappings of the season; others skew a little darker, bringing the more oppressive, burdensome side of the holidays to life. Either way, Christmas episodes tend to demonstrate the strengths of our favourite series, and it’s long been a festive ritual of mine to wheel out old
Here’s the thing. I don’t know your gift-giving needs. I don’t know your friends. I don’t know your tastes, and your budget is none of my business. These are books that, if I didn’t already own them and love them, I would want to get. If they are new to you, I envy the good times you have ahead.
I want to start off with Mimi Pond because, well, I know her a little bit and this will make me seem important. She and I both freelanced for the fashion section of The Village Voice back in the late seventies and early eighties. Fashion was like the ugly stepchild at the paper, not
And so, I want to shine a spotlight on various shows, and discuss what they’re doing wrong, and what they’re doing right.
In my last column here, I wrote a lot about ReedPop, the folks who put on big shows in New York and Chicago, among other things. They only had women creators as about ten percent of their featured comics guests. Since then, several people have alerted me to the fact that C2E2 is highlighting their female guests in their advertising. This is a great thing. I commend them for it.
(Hey, I’m a Jewish mother. Whatever you do,
The film opens with White preparing to go onstage for his one man show at the Largo Theater in Los Angeles. It’s essentially a slideshow, with White displaying some of his most well-known work, telling stories, playing banjo and wackily dancing around. What you soon realize is: this guy is funny, and so are his paintings, thrift store landscapes bearing colorful turns of phrase, many of them bearing the F-bomb, which might just be White’s favorite word.
Aussie filmmaker Penny Vozniak's "Lost in La Mancha"-esque documentary “Despite The Gods," following director Jennifer Lynch and her experiences making her third film in India, is a low budget docu-delight. Lynch is the beating, empathic heart of the film, an endearing combination of raw emotional honesty and self-deprecating humor. After surviving a critical flogging at 19 for her first film "Boxing Helena," and enjoying the relative success of her second film "Surveillance," Lynch still had a lot to prove with her third film. However it is clear from day one this will not be the film she envisions it to be. The film in question is "Hisss," a Bollywood action tale of a snake that turns into a woman, and then back again. Though Vozniak's film is an interesting look behind the scenes at some the challenges of being an American director shooting in India (no
IMDb.com, Inc. takes no responsibility for the content or accuracy of the above news articles, Tweets, or blog posts. This content is published for the entertainment of our users only. The news articles, Tweets, and blog posts do not represent IMDb's opinions nor can we guarantee that the reporting therein is completely factual. Please visit the source responsible for the item in question to report any concerns you may have regarding content or accuracy.