When former Disney CEO Michael Eisner made the comment that “beautiful, funny women are impossible to find,” women took to Facebook to list any number of actresses who meet that criteria. He claimed that the Lucille Balls of this world basically don’t exist. At the Aspen Ideas Festival, on stage with Goldie Hawn, Eisner said “I know women who have been told they’re beautiful, they win Miss Arkansas, they don’t ever have to get attention other than with their looks. So they don’t tell a joke.” Perhaps men like him don’t give women the chance. Male studio heads have famously assumed that a) woman are not funny b) women can’t open a movie and are only good for window dressing. Then they complain when they get beautiful faces who are…you guessed it…window dressing.
This also speaks to the fact that there is a specific kind of look a woman must have on film in order to considered desirable. Do these guys get together in a cigar bar and figure out the short list? Please don’t answer that.
Here are my suggestions:
a) Turn over a new rock. There’s lot of brilliant, hilarious, talented women who can enrich your project. Some are Sandra Bullock beautiful, some are Amy Schumer beautiful, some are Taraji P. Henson beautiful and some are Melissa McCarthy beautiful, America Ferrara beautiful or Viola Davis beautiful. But they all rock. And yeah, they’re also very funny when they feel like it.
b) There are relative unknowns who also fit the bill if you apply a little energy and ingenuity to opening a new door and meeting them.
c) Figure out that more than three actresses can do anything — and the women you choose don’t always have to have the same cookie cutter appearance in order to be successful. Expand your narrow concept of “beauty.”
Clearly, the rest of the world is way ahead of you.