Comedy writers defend say-anything culture

Tuesday, 14 November 2017, 02:03:58 PM. Writers say CK’s admission provides a contrast between making offensive remarks and actually making women uncomfortable
Comedian Louis CK admitted Friday that he had, as the New York Times had reported, used his star status to compel several women to watch him masturbate. That revelation was like “a nuclear bomb in the comedy community,” said Dan Hernandez, a producer on Netflix’s One Day at a Time reboot. “But I’m glad it’s being exposed. It’s definitely overdue.” It also, Hernandez and other comedy writers say, provides a contrast between making crass or offensive remarks — often a feature of the workplace for professional comedians — and actually making women feel uncomfortable, powerless or worse. “You want to feel safe when you’re going to work,” said Amy Aniobi, a writer on HBO’s comedy "Insecure." The show chronicles the lives of black millennials navigating work, sex and friendship in Los Angeles. One memorable scene depicted a blow job gone wrong for star Issa Rae, a funny and poignant poke at the power dynamics between men and women. To make that kind of scene a success, the writers have to feel comfortable talking explicitly about sex and trying jokes that might not work the first time. David Isaacs, Professor of Cinematic Arts at USC (Photo: USC) “It’s this weird comfort formed by being able to joke crassly with other writers,” said Aniobi, who is 33. “If you can laugh at my nasty joke, then I know you can also listen to my rough pitch that might not make sense.” In the early days of TV, the majority of writers were mostly white men from the East Coast, says David Isaacs, a...Read more
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