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Sorry But Criticizing A TV Show For Its Lack Of Diversity Does Not Equal “Woman Hate”

June 22nd, 2012 | 4 comments | Posted by Jen

I’ve heard this argument in discussions about the lack of diversity on HBO’s Girls and I’m hearing it again now with ABC Family’s Bunheads. The argument is: If you’re criticizing this show, which is for, by, and about girls/women, you’re misogynist.


This week, Bunheads creator Amy Sherman-Palladino, of Gilmore Girls fame, responded to criticism made by Grey’s Anatomy creator Shonda Rhimes about the lack of diversity on Sherman-Palladino’s new series about ballerinas with this exact argument:

“I’ve always felt that women, in a general sense, have never supported other women the way they should…I think it’s a shame, but to me, it is what it is.”

Sherman-Palladino, who says she has never met Rhimes before, went on to say that with the increased demands on showrunners — particularly while getting a new program on the air — there’s no room for criticism among peers. “I wouldn’t do it. I wouldn’t go after another woman. I, frankly, wouldn’t go after another showrunner,” she said.

Showrunner-to-showrunner professional courtesies aside–think how awkward running into each other in the ladies’ room at the Emmys will be!–Sherman-Palladino’s assessment of the situation, not to mention her assertion of victimhood, is utterly facile and self-serving.

Here is Rhimes’ actual tweet:

It’s important to note here that Rhimes directed her criticism at @abcfbunheads, the official Twitter for the ABC Family show. ABC Family is a subsidiary of Disney-ABC, which owns all of the shows Rhimes has developed, created, or had her name attached to since her TV career began. In reality, her tweet is less an attack on Sherman-Palladino than a calling-out of the network Rhimes has made richer. The people who resent the lack of diversity criticism directed at shows like Girls and Bunheads will be the first to tell you that the lack of diversity on TV is a systemic problem. Which is why Rhimes being called a woman-hater for pointing out that there isn’t even one non-white ballerina on Bunheads Continue reading Sorry But Criticizing A TV Show For Its Lack Of Diversity Does Not Equal “Woman Hate”

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ROCK OF ASIAN: Tomi Fujiyama

September 3rd, 2008 | 0 comments | Posted by Jen

Meet Tomi Fujiyama, 70, the first Japanese woman to play the Grand Ole Opry, way back in 1964. She took the stage after Johnny Cash and was the only performer to receive a standing ovation. There’s currently a documentary being made about Tomi’s life called “Made in Japan,” with hobbit Elijah Wood slated to narrate. Check out her whiskey-and-heartache-soaked version of “Your Cheatin’ Heart”:

Yeah, we know. We should be calling this Country/Western of Asian, except there’s something so punk rock about a little Japanese woman who’s so damn country.

For those of you in the New York area, Tomi will be playing her first Stateside show in four decades September 11 at Pianos on the Lower East Side, which officially makes the Lower East Side cool again (that and the knock-down-drag-out girlfight among filthy garbage cans where purses and punches were thrown that Jen witnessed the last time she was there).


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