Cutthroat Hollywood reporter and famed recluse Nikki Finke was not happy that Modern Family's Julie Bowen won the Emmy for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series last night. Why? Because Bowen is too damn beautiful and not nearly funny enough to deserve the recognition. In fact, according to Finke, few of the actresses on sitcoms are.
Finke blogged on Deadline:
"Listen up, Hollywood: Beautiful actresses are not funny. They don't know how to do comedy ... Only women who grew up ugly and stayed ugly, or through plastic surgery became beautiful, can pull off sitcoms or standups ... Because it's all about emotional pain and humiliation and rising above both by making people laugh with you instead of at you. So stop casting beautiful actresses when you should be giving ugly women a chance."
Oh, good. This old chestnut. Pretty women aren't funny. Play it again, Sam!
There's some truth to what Finke is saying. Traditionally, comedy is better when it comes from a place of pain and humiliation (two experiences that can occur across the spectrum of attractiveness) and there should be a bigger place for actors and actresses who fall outside the realm of what's considered good looking in Hollywood. However, her statement is extremely limiting. While Bowen is a perhaps a poor example of a beautiful and funny woman, there are plenty out there. (I'd name names, but I've already done that here.) Additionally, quips like this only further pushes us to label what is attractive (in this case, it's being thin, caucasian and young) and what isn't.
To Finke's credit, her issues in regards to attractive people in comedy isn't entirely related to gender (although she did say that New Girl's very handsome Max Greenfield was "robbed"). She adds, "This also applies to handsome men, by the way. Now argue amongst yourselves."
Duly noted, Finke.