Adult Swim’s Mike Lazzo Tries to Deny Sexism Charges, Digs Self Deeper
Here’s a hyper masculine photo of Adult Swim’s ego.
Adult Swim has its fair share of funny content — remember their takeover of the RNC? — but that doesn’t excuse bad behavior behind the scenes. Earlier this week, a person claiming to be the network’s executive vice president and creative director Mike Lazzo said some pretty sexist sh*t on Reddit. It wasn’t the first time this Redditor has been nasty on the Internet either; check out his fight with David Cross for a sample of his personality.
The Reddit rant came in response to this BuzzFeed article, originally titled “How Adult Swim Is Failing Women” but since retitled to the less emphatic “Adult Swim Could Do Better By Women.” As Splitsider noted in June, a whopping zero out of 47 creators of the network’s on-air crop of shows are women.
BuzzFeed’s Ariane Lange interviewed a number of former employees, including one who claimed that Lazzo responded to a 2011 question about whether the network had any shows from women in the works with, “when you have women in the writers room, you don’t get comedy, you get conflict.” This particular claim irked the Redditor claiming to be Lazzo, who tried to combat the accusations of sexism by digging himself — and the network — deeper. Here’s the relevant portion of the original response from this Reddit thread:
“What I actually said was-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. Nonetheless this was a dumb answer to a good question as Lucille Ball and Gilda Rather (sic) to Amy Poelher (sic) and Amy Schumer prove my statement a load of generalized nonsense.
I have always been very accessible to every person at work because I personally benefited from working at a company that allowed anyone, from any position, to pitch an idea-as long as the person was prepared to back up their ambition by doing any work required to justify the time or expense. If unnamed sources want to complain, complain about me after I’ve read the script you asked me to read or tossed you out of my office for pitching something I didn’t like. If you did come to me I bet I offered some decent suggestions on how to accomplish whatever you wanted to do.”
If this Redditor is indeed Lazzo, his attitude towards women in the comedy world seems to exemplify one of TV’s biggest problems: a lack of diversity in front of and behind the camera. Julia Alexander wrote about the challenge facing women in comedy for Polygon — check out that story for more.
What do you think? How can we best support diversity in entertainment? Let us know in the comments below or @WhatsTrending on Twitter.