2.5 men, but certainly no women! Lee Aronsohn, co-creator of the top-rated sitcom “Two and a Half Men,” is facing criticism following some misogynist comments he made at the Toronto Screenwriting Conference yesterday. While on stage, Aronsohn expressed distaste for the many female-led comedies on television, saying, “We’re approaching peak vagina on television, the point of labia saturation.”
Calling out shows like “Whitney” and “2 Broke Girls,” which happens to lead into his own show, specifically, Aronsohn added, “Enough, ladies, I get it, you have periods.” Despite his assertions, the percentage of female characters actually dropped last year to 41%. Furthermore, women comprise only 15% of television writers, meaning that anyone who is writing hackneyed period jokes is probably a man.
“Two and a Half Men” was previously the target of feminist ire when its former star, Charlie Sheen, faced allegations of abusing women, among a variety of other claims. Some would argue that “Two and a Half Men,” which has been accused of over-sexualizing its female characters, is more responsible for reducing women to vaginas than sitcoms with female leads. On the subject of his show’s own unflattering portrayal of women, Aronsohn shrugs off the criticism, saying, “Screw it. We’re centering the show on two very damaged men. What makes men damaged? Sorry, it’s women. I never got my heart broken by a man.”
In the past, Aronsohn has not exhibited nearly as much hostility toward women on television, particularly while writing for female-helmed sitcoms like ”Murphy Brown,” “Cybill” and “Grace Under Fire.”
For anyone still interested in watching the show, Aronsohn also announced that the show’s new star, Ashton Kutcher, is willing to return for another season, provided that he is able to reach a successful contract negotiation with CBS. If Aronsohn had his way, CBS could always let go of some unnecessary female stars to free up enough cash to pay Kutcher’s salary.
Celebrities like Martha Plimpton, star of “Raising Hope,” have taken to Twitter to speak out against Aronsohn’s sexist charges. “The rise of female writers and performers in television is a result of demand,” Plimpton wrote before making a joke about her own vagina’s “peak.”
Realizing that he was in hot water for his comments, Aronsohn later acknowledged, “We do too many fart jokes on Two and a Half Men. I’m the last person to judge.” Today he also Tweeted, saying, “Yes, yes – it was a stupid joke. I’m sorry.” Anyone who has seen an episode of “Two and a Half Men” might be inclined to find his “stupid joke” excuse believable.
Photo Credit: Angela George
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