Bojack Horseman creator argues men shouldn’t be the “default” in comedy



Interesting point. My son and I were just talking yesterday about how there are “black” people and “regular” people. It’s pretty much the same idea.

Making male the default robs both genders. It makes women “other,” but it also dissolves maleness into a background of genderless humanity. The only solution I can think of is keeping our eyes open.


I think the issue is pretty obvious: writers usually write from their own perspective and that’s perfectly fine – imagine Hemingway or (ahem) Bukowski trying to write from a female point of view. To quote Frank Zappa, “you are what you is”, but like he points out it’s a cycle, and it’s up to the writers to try and break the cycle, so get more female writers and listen to their input (like he’s already doing.)

The human race, and the West in particular, has been male-centric for a long time (when we refer to mankind we usually just say “Man”), so it will take effort to change that, and I know a lot of people will resist.

I was looking for this article/interview a few weeks ago – could have sworn it was posted on BB. I guess not, and now I get to find it when I use the search box. (I totally failed to find it elsewhere on google. Maybe it’s just a recent article and I travelled in time?!?)

#Resistance is futile.

We will add your biological and technological distinctiveness to our own.

Wait. No. We won’t. UGH. MEMORY WIPE PLEASE.

(not you,. @some_guy)

I’d love to see some writing in which Bukowski tried to write from a woman’s pov – sounds hilarious. Or maybe horrific.

Yes, this is a great reason to recruit and listen to more women writers! And more who aren’t white.

Almost 20 years ago, Richard Dyer wrote about this default problem in popular media; when will we learn!

Photographic media “was developed with white people in mind and habitual use and instruction continue in the same vein, so much so that photographing non-white people is typically construed as a problem. . . . The problem is memorably attested in a racial context in school photos where either the black pupils’ faces look like blobs or the white pupils have their faces bleached out.”

I can see what he’s talking about in this example below, where (unless I’m imagining things?) the very light faces look too light, and the very dark ones too dark. The best examples in Dyers’ book are movie stills, including some from Rising Sun, where the details of Wesley Snipes’ face are hard to see because the default (white) lighting was used, so the facial features of Sean Connery and Harvey Keitel are much more discernible.


It was posted in the comments by Mindysan33 here


If they are the butt of the joke or play a character who has a lot of negative (but funny) traits, it is almost always a male, usually a white male. They are the “safest” target in comedy.

I am trying hard and I can’t think of a single female Peter Griffen type character.

But the examples in the article are good ones to mix things up a little.


The audience will think, “Why are those characters female? Is that part of the joke?” The underlying assumption there is that the default mode for any character is male, so to make the characters female is an additional detail on top of that.

This seems very weird to me, I can never imagine myself thinking this, or ever having thought this (and didn’t for this gag when I saw it). Maybe it’s just me.

The show itself is a bit hit and miss, but the anthropomorphic gags are probably the best bits, Will Arnett is good, and the visual style is great.

or cis-gendered.


So we need less Hemingways and Bukowskis in this world, we’ve been painting with only a few colors and it gets dull.

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I heard a story on…I think This American Life about this same story, and given my own trouble with admitting I’m wrong (and I’m not, dammit) I found Bob-Waksberg’s admittance regarding the repeated conversations he’d had with Hanawalt to be enlightening. And kudos to Hanawalt for repeatedly bringing the issue to Bob-Waksberg because it’s not something I’d considered previously.
Are we any closer to developing a similar name for the Streisand Effect, but specifically related to Gamergate and the follow-on repercussions that appear to be working their way through our culture, whether online or off? As in, the dumbass insistence that it’s not about equality, women’s rights, or whatever has only served to inflate the visibility and power of those working to enhance equality/women’s rights/etc.


As much as I love to pile on GamerGate, I think this fight was going on long before gamergate was a hashtag, and will keep going long after it’s been forgotten. I don’t really see how gamergate is associated with this

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I think you’re right that the ‘fight’ precedes GG, but I’d argue that the GG stuff has resulted in bringing even more eyeballs to the issue…of course, that may also be because I’ve followed Arthur Chu and Sarah Nyberg on twitter, and they’re regularly posting some of the horrible and horribly stupid shit the GGers fling. And, frankly, it serves as another ping to me to be aware of the issue at hand.

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It been going on since Bigoted Trolls started to make Fake SJW blogs that pretty much paint all of Social Justice in a bad light.

In short, GamerGate was created by fools who fell for the Social Justice Trolls.

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Two things.

Todd, clean up your shit!!

And I am glad you brought this up.


Really? Hadn’t heard that. Would you mind giving a link or name of such a blog? I’d like to see how it’s done.

I don’t have an exact list, but here’s a guide on tumblr that helps identify fake Social Justice Blogs


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