Michael Eisner responds to online criticism about his ‘funny women’ comments


On Monday, we discussed Michael Eisner’s comments at a recent Q&A session at the Aspen Institute. Eisner did a sit-down conversation with Goldie Hawn, and in an attempt to flatter Goldie (an old friend), Eisner kind of went off the rails about how the rarest thing in the world is a beautiful AND funny woman. It wasn’t just one sentence awkwardly stated either – Eisner said “From my position, the hardest artist to find is a beautiful, funny woman,” but then continued his thought by announcing that “unbelievably beautiful women… are not funny” and women who are told they are beautiful never learn how to tell a joke. It was all pretty awful and there was a significant online backlash against Eisner. So now he’s issued a statement to Entertainment Weekly about it:

“In the context of a public conversation with Goldie Hawn in which I was complimenting her on being both beautiful and funny, I said such a combination is hard to come by in Hollywood,” he said in a statement to EW. “I certainly did not say Goldie was the only one. My point was simply that Goldie, unlike many, has not been defined exclusively as one or the other.”

[From EW]

I do think his aim was to compliment Goldie but he’s being too “cute” by shrugging off his own comments as being solely about Goldie. His train of thought started out about Goldie and then he went off on a tangent about the rarest jewels in the world, beautiful women who know how to tell a joke. And it’s still insulting. It’s insulting to the many women struggling in comedy’s Boys’ Club. It’s insulting the pioneers of comedy, many of whom were women. It’s insulting to the current generation of brilliant comediennes. Ugh.

Photos courtesy of Getty, WENN.

You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed.

22 Responses to “Michael Eisner responds to online criticism about his ‘funny women’ comments”

Comments are Closed

We close comments on older posts to fight comment spam.

  1. Kiki says:

    He basically just added salt to everyone ( when I mean every woman in the world) to their wounds. I am just sick and tired of these useless, insecure perverts with money who think that they have the power to speak out of context and think this is what they actually said. Why don’t these old farts just go and retire and definately not come back. I have had it up to here with them and their useless, sexist misogynistic attitudes and over zealous power. Bye Michael.

  2. Pinky says:

    There’s a reason why he’s the ex-pres of Disney: his thinking is antiquated. Time to update your misogyny and sense of humor, Mikey.

    • LA Juice says:

      yea, faulk that guy. ((imitates Kristen Bell using her middle finger to put lipstick on))

  3. Josefa says:

    If “brilliant comediennes” are still offended after he explained himself, they probably need more sense of humor.

    This is a wild, shocking idea for the internet: Maybe not everyone is a bigoted, hateful PoS and maybe they are just bad at expressing themselves. Revolutionary idea, I know.

    EDIT: I’m not familiar with this man so he might have a horrible record and I might be wrong about everything. In that case, nevermind my comment.

    • frisbeejada says:

      Well you know I think you’ll find quite a lot of ‘brilliant comediennes’ may well be feminists – it is traditionally a male preserve after all so just wanting to take part makes them well ‘out there’ and possibly even slightly abnormal. As feminists of course they are all completely devoid of any sense of humor whatsoever – as a feminist I am totally lacking in that department myself. Oh, and just in case you might have missed it, there is every possible sarcasm on this planet and whatever is available in the rest of the known universe intended in this comment.

    • belle de jour says:

      I’m not jumping on you personally, but would share a bit of personal anecdotal experience: lots of funny, creative folks who’ve ever worked for him could tell you horror stories – whether they were our own, or insider legend & company gossip passed along as both warnings and industry catnip during his tenure.

      And just one more point: the former head of an international company that prides itself on marketing communication (storytelling) as its main product – and that has built an empire on carefully crafting public perception of all its properties – can and should be held responsible for what he communicates in the stories and narratives and scenarios he tells.

  4. HoustonGrl says:

    He’s the opposite of funny and beautiful.

  5. Babalon says:

    So, he doesn’t have to be accountable for what he says because us little ladies are just looking for something to complain about?

    Okay. Whatever, Eisner. I hope you get a 24-hour Viagra erection that breaks your spirit. Jerk.

  6. Wolf says:

    His comment about it being rare to find a funny AND beautiful woman is actually an old-school/old-fart, misogynist comment that I remember hearing from my father’s friends eons ago. It is an old stereotype that men in positions of power like to repeat as it is patronizing and degrading. Nice work, Eisner.

  7. korra says:

    I liked this man for once stating that his most favorite movie was Hunchback of Notre Dame, because that’s my absolute favorite from the Disney Renaissance. Obviously it wasn’t the movie but Claude Frollo and his view of woman that he loved about it. He even looks like Frollo!

  8. S says:

    You can find endless comments on this website calling any variety of celebrities vapid/shallow/dumb. A person, man or woman with a well rounded personality matched with extraordinary good looks *is* a rare commodity, and in Hollywood, I imagine even rarer. That’s why the examples given in the article yesterday- Tina, Mindy, Melissa, Kristen, Goldie, etc. are such stand outs.

    • korra says:

      I love Tina Fey. I’m obsessed with her. Night Cheese and Snuggies are my jam. She is hilarious and beautiful.

  9. Susan1 says:

    Oh please… It has gotten to the point where people can’t even talk at all because somewhere someone is upset with the comments. Maybe he wasn’t well spoken, we all know what he was doing….trying to flatter Goldie……

    • Elisa the I. says:

      I wish people like this entitled dude would ACTUALLY NOT TALK AT ALL. One can dream…

  10. carol says:

    He’s an old man with very antiquated ideas. I can’t take him seriously.

  11. Lisa says:

    Oh, and a compliment from him is surely a gift. Stuff it, cue ball.

    • belle de jour says:

      You know, the joke was that Shrek was him physically & that Lord Faarquaad (or ‘Lord F*ck Wad’) was him in exec mode.

  12. lucy2 says:

    Yeah….his first comments pretty clearly expressed his opinion on the subject. Trying to pass it off as a compliment to one person isn’t really going to cut it.

  13. Tiffany says:

    That face. Woof.

  14. LAK says:

    Sometimes, silence is golden.