Hung creator Colette Burson (pictured, with co-creator/husband Dmitry Lipkin) has explained her remark that "it is incredibly difficult to find beautiful, talented, funny women over 35" to blogger Melissa Silverstein. She also made some more annoying comments in the process!
In terms of the quote: it is such a shame that I was either too tired to express myself correctly on the issue or part of my quote was left out because it is something that I think about a lot and I actually consider myself a warrior on front lines of this issue. It's something I am actively involved in on a daily basis in a way that most people are not. Nevertheless I do think that the part that I would have added or the part I hope I did add was that it is difficult to find an actress over 35 or over 40 who is funny and talented and is still working and has not quit the business.
Emphasis is Silverstein's. Burson continued,
In my personal experience I know five actresses off the top of my head if not 10 who are around the age of 40 who no longer go on auditions anymore because they are too fucking bummed out by how few roles there are.
Fair enough. But did Burson have to open her clarification with this?
I do think it's always hard to find pretty and funny. It's a difficult combo and it's something that's talked about in Hollywood. Blonde and funny. And that is definitely true with Anne. She's very funny and real and she's blonde and she's pretty. And this role happens to be for a beauty queen who needed to have serious emotional acting chops and at the same time was funny.
Maybe it wouldn't be "hard to find pretty and funny" if actresses weren't pigeonholed as one or the other, or if we thought of humor as sexy in women the way we do in men. Of course, it's not Burson's fault that Hollywood deals in simplistic gender stereotypes. But as someone who says "I feel so passionately about the issue" of creating compelling female characters over 35, she could certainly challenge these stereotypes a bit more.
Colette Burson Clarifies Remark From NY Times Magazine [Women & Hollywood]