Kathy Griffin Wants Hollywood To End Ageism And Represent Real Women

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Sexism in Hollywood is, sadly, a tale as old as time, but one form of discrimination that’s equally as prevalent — but not as widely discussed — is ageism, which also tends to affect more female stars than their male counterparts. It’s an issue that’s been particularly present in the career of comedian Kathy Griffin, who recently revealed that at 55, she’s been told she should retire from the business because of her age.

Griffin discussed that insulting suggestion and other ridiculous assertions about her and other female entertainers’ ages during an interview with Deadline, telling the trade that Hollywood is completely out of touch with who their audience is and what that audience wants. Instead of chasing “that 18-29 guy demo” that advertisers allege makes them money, the comedian says they should take their cues from the people Griffin meets on tour.

“I’m seeing the real America, and real women, and they’re all ages, and they don’t look like what’s being represented on television,” she told Deadline. “There’s really very little representation of people who look like me or sound like me on television. I want to see people I can relate to.”

Unfortunately, thanks to the narrowmindedness of those in charge, it seems like not much will ever change.

“I hear it all the time,” Griffin told the trade of ageist remarks. “I’ve been hearing it since I was 30, from managers, agents, studio heads and network executives. I’m sure I heard it in the last year. They really think nothing of saying to me, ‘You’re really funny, but they’ve decided to go younger.’ It’s so common for a woman to hear that. I don’t think anyone ever told them you’re not supposed to say that. They think it’s still a legitimate reason for someone not to get a job.”

Griffin points to fellow comedians like Lucille Ball and Roseanne Barr who had lucrative careers well into middle-age as proof that ageism is a joke, but worries that that mindset will be in place forever. And as Deadline notes, ageism isn’t exclusively a problem for actresses, but also affects older writers and directors in Hollywood, too. While Griffin didn’t seem very optimistic in her interview with Deadline, she’s still hoping the issue can be resolved one day, and is participating in a panel discussion on the topic later this week alongside other members of the industry.

(Via: Deadline)