l words

Ilene Chaiken: Lesbians Have A Harder Time Being Funny On TV Than Gay Guys

I hate to pit us against each other. We all have a place in our culture. I love “Modern Family.” I think it’s possibly my favorite show of last year, but I do think that gay male characters have traditionally been represented in comedies because it’s easier to take. The culture at large can handle gay men being funny, but I can’t think of very many gay male characters in dramas.

—Ilene Chaiken, creator of Showtime’s The Real L Word, on the state of lesbians vs. gay men on television [via]

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  • RomanHans

    Yeah, I’m so proud how funny all us effeminate homosexuals are on TV.

  • bluenosedive

    The funniest person I know on TV is a lesbian. Ellen Degeneres. However I have to agree with Ilene. I can’t imagine a lesbian character being funny in Ugly Betty or Glee. Now dramas like Grey’s Anatomy and Guiding Light thats our thing.

    But that does not mean we are not a fun bunch of bitches. I might be a dyke but I’m no bore. <_<

  • Alex

    Might it have something to do with the fact that her two shows are atrocious representations of lesbians?

  • reese

    Ilene Chaiken didn’t cast anyone on this horrible show based on humor potential. Her latest project is an absolute cringe-fest.

  • Midgey

    The reason for that is that gay men are typecast as funny and over-the-top for laughs, and lesbians are almost always dealing with drama and suicide/stalking/general upsetting story lines. Its sad but true, wish we could break that.

  • Pip

    Women have a lot more gender freedom than men. That’s the main reason you’re not going to see some manish chick on TV getting lots of laughs. We have more reverence/respect for a female’s right to dress/act how she wants.

  • Lydon


    And not only lesbians Alex. She was pretty much offensive to everybody.

    While I may agree with her comments to a certain extent, I can’t help but think that she just shouldn’t open up her big mouth when it comes to talking about the portrayals of men in TV, considering the fact that she cast us all (gay, bi and straight) as assholes in her show. Practically all the men were the villains at one point or another. Think about it: from the systematic destruction of the ultimate good guy Tim, to freaky peeping toms, to “nannyfuckingmotherfuckers”, to drug addicted gays, and even to Max adhering the worst qualities of men during his transition, I can’t help but feel Chaiken truly has A LOT of hatred and resentment towards men.

    All I can say is that if us boys could sit through Lindsay and Melanie fucking regularly and having semi respectable storylines on QaF, why couldn’t she just add ONE consistently good male dramatic character on her show?? He didn’t even have to be gay, just a decent fella. Argh, rant over.

  • jason

    Ilene Chaiken, go away. Your representations of lesbians merely pander to the sleazy straight guy fantasy. They serve patriarchy, not the GLBT cause. You might as well be working for Hugh Hefner, honey.

  • bruce

    Ilene Chaiken appears to be a puppet for straight men who want all their lesbians “hot” and feminine. When it comes to gay rights, I wouldn’t say she’s a fraud but she comes terribly close.

    In any case, her two shows stink and they’ve been ratings flops. Nuff said.

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