I’ve been published in Junkee today, talking about what the recent incident with Lawrence Mooney says about sexism in Australian comedy.
For men in comedy it’s an uncomfortable truth that even those who don’t sexually harass or intimidate women are complicit in a system that privileges them and their work. For men prepared to see this privilege, it is now incumbent upon them to be allies to the women in their industry and in audiences.
I have spent many years promoting, producing, publishing and reviewing comedy. I absoloutely love the artform at its best and loathe the reality of our local industry. Too many cis-straight-white dudes dominating and making it hard for others to learn the craft and find audiences. One of the things I only really came to grips with after I moved away from the bulk of my comedy work was the sexism and misogyny.
For women in the industry it is incredibly difficult to speak up about this because the punishment for doing so is harsh and real: you’re ostracised and your access to work is restricted. It’s not a deliberate campaign against you, it’s just that criticising those in power means they retract any support they may have offered.
I hope this resonates for other women who are (or have been) in the local comedy community, and above all I hope this makes a few of the men in the industry think about their complicity in the system.