Rachel Bloom Reveals The Entertainment Trend That She Has Made Work For Her & For Us
During a Comedy Actress Roundtable, speaking to The Hollywood Reporter about their experiences in the industry, Crazy Ex-Girlfriend creator and star Rachel Bloom and Broad City co-creator and star Ilana Glazer dropped some truth bombs about the feminism and diversity "trend" in the entertainment industry right now that were really illuminating. Of course, it comes as no surprise that these two great women would have amazing things to say that had me simultaneously wanting to take a lecture class from them and fill up four binders with notes, and share a mimosa with them over a boozy brunch. I mean, it was a round table featuring Glazer, Bloom, Allison Janney, Lily Tomlin, Gina Rodriguez, and Niecy Nash. It's pretty much my roundtable wet dream, and the amount of sage wisdom being casually thrown around was ridiculous.
Maybe the most interesting — and surprising — little nugget of truth that came out of it for me was the way that Bloom and Glazer look at the "trend" of feminism right now. They've both noticed that the female voice is having a bit of a moment right now in entertainment, and they've found a way to celebrate that milestone even in light of its potentially problematic context: the fact that lady-centric opportunities still largely have to be handed down by the typically male, typically older, typically white executives at the top of the food chain. As Bloom shares, on the subject of the worst professional advice she's ever received:
Here's the thing, it seems like being female, women creating their things, having your own voice, diversity — that's becoming very trendy and in vogue. So I think that I've had way more positive experiences than negative ones, especially recently. It's very cool now.
She laughs, and then Ilana Glazer pipes in with, "Because old white guys want to be cool, so they're like [flashes a thumbs-up], "Girl power!", and then everyone laughs again. It's a brief moment, but one that I can't understate the importance of, because it's an instance where women have found a way to work within the structure that's been provided, even as they dismantle it from within. Is it gross that shows like Broad City and Crazy Ex-Girlfriend might have partially been given a chance because out-of-touch executives want to look current and informed, and a great way to do that is with a little injection of estrogen to your network? If that's true then, oh yeah, it's super gross. Nobody believes that more strongly than I do.
But instead of getting bogged down in how undeniably far we still have to go, or getting angry at being glommed into one big, nondescript feminine category, Bloom and Glazer have decided to use it. You want a token female show to balance out all the white male action? Well they're gonna make a better show than you deserve, because this is for them and their audience, not you. And they're gonna get showered in praise and nominations and awards for it, while they're at it.
At the end of the day, these shows earned their shots, and whether it's because producers and executives were ticking off a box or because they were genuinely interested in improving their programming in a measurable, inclusive way doesn't really matter. Ilana Glazer and Rachel Bloom saw an opening to put themselves and their voices out there, and they did the most feminist, gutsy thing imaginable — they grabbed that opportunity by the balls.
Image: The CW; Giphy