Earlier this year, Adult Swim announced its full roster of new shows, returning series, and specials, and of the 47 announced projects, exactly zero were created (or even co-created) by women. Buzzfeed dug deeper and found that these dismal numbers are nothing new for the late-night network: According to the available creator credits for the 58 series and miniseries aired by Adult Swim in its 15 years of existence, only one out of every 34 went to women. (TV’s average for creator credits that went to women during the 2015-2016 season was one in five.) Though women make up 43 percent of the network’s audience, Adult Swim only has a few streaming series made by women, and that’s frankly bullshit.
Adult Swim executive Mike Lazzo then attempted to “explain” the gap without really apologizing. In doing so, he proceeded to make some dumb assumptions about the way women work. According to Lazzo, women don’t like conflict, and comedy comes from conflict. His non-apology, like the problem itself, was bullshit.
And at least one of Adult Swim’s stars agrees. Brett Gelman has severed ties with the network, citing the lack of action on the gender gap and the “misogyny of their policies” as two of his reasons. That means no more Dinner In America at Adult Swim. In discussing his departure on Twitter, Gelman also said he was aware of Adult Swim’s support and promotion of Million Dollar Extreme—a series ordered earlier this year that has garnered an alt-right and white supremacist fan base—and that that was part of his decision as well. He isn’t mincing words:
Adult Swim’s Mike Lazzo Takes to Reddit to Defend Lack of Female Creators https://t.co/fjxE8FYx7z THIS IS THE REASON I HAVE SEVERED TIES
— Brett Gelman (@brettgelman) November 14, 2016
I know this and I have stopped working with them. Not to mention the misogyny of their policies https://t.co/fJ3Pm4lUGT
— Brett Gelman (@brettgelman) November 10, 2016
Paste reported back in October that Adult Swim was taking meetings with women, but Gelman’s pointed decision to leave signals that the network hasn’t really shown any signs of improvement. Perhaps it will take more stars doing the same for anything to happen.