Tina Fey, post-election, feels like ‘misogyny is much more real than two years ago’


Tina Fey is the recipient of this year’s Sherry Lansing Leadership Award, given by the Hollywood Reporter as part of their annual Women In Hollywood event. I think Tina is a good choice – she’s a writer, producer and actress, she’s creating hit TV shows and developing scripts, and she is a role model in and out of the industry. Does Tina have some flaws? Sure. She can be a bit myopic about diversity issues, and she can be a full-on Mean Girl to other women who she doesn’t respect. But overall, the world is a better place because of Tina Fey. For her award, THR gave her this week’s cover, and they sent David Letterman to interview her in New York. The result is actually a great read about politics, feminism, child-rearing, comedy and more. You can read the full piece here at THR. Some highlights:

On President Trump: “How are we going to proceed with any kind of dignity in an increasingly ugly world? And I actually was thinking — because I’ve got to write something for when I get the award — to use Sherry Lansing as an inspiration because she was a lady who worked in a very, very ugly business and always managed to be quite dignified. But in a world where the president makes fun of handicapped people and fat people, how do we proceed with dignity? I want to tell people, “If you do two things this year, watch Idiocracy by Mike Judge and read Leni Riefenstahl’s 800-page autobiography and then call it a year… She grew up in Germany. She was in many ways a brilliant pioneer. She pioneered sports photography as we know it. She’s the one who had the idea to dig a trench next to the track for the Olympics and put a camera on a dolly. But she also rolled with the punches and said, “Well, he’s the fuhrer. He’s my president. I’ll make films for him.” She did some terrible, terrible things. And I remember reading [her book] 20 years ago, thinking, “This is a real lesson, to be an artist who doesn’t roll with what your leader is doing just because he’s your leader.”

Whether she worries about her daughters dealing with jerky men: “I worry, [but] I have confidence that they are both strong enough to fight back, and I think they will feel empowered to call attention to any wrongdoing in their lives.

How she feels about getting awards: “This one makes me a little nervous. Have I really done enough to warrant this? Sometimes I tell myself, “Well, what would a guy do? He’d take it.” They wanted to give me that Mark Twain Prize [for humor] in 2009, and I said, “I don’t think this is appropriate.” And Lorne Michaels said to me, “Just take it while your parents are alive,” which is very smart.

Awareness of feminism: “It feels like we were on the precipice of things getting pretty good, and now we’re in a bit of a throwback moment. I definitely came out of last month feeling misogyny is much more real than two years ago. But the thing I worry about [more] than actual human interaction is the internet. Because that’s just despicable: people just being able to be awful to each other without having to be in the same room. It’s metastasizing now, thanks to our glorious president-elect who can’t muster the dignity of a seventh-grader. It’s so easy for people to abuse each other and to abandon all civility.

On Alec Baldwin’s Twitter beef with Trump: “Did you see that my friend Mr. [Alec] Baldwin is in a Twitter feud with our president-elect? At one level, it just makes me feel sick for the state of the world because it’s so beneath a president, but also my feeling is: “You think you’re good at being a jerk on Twitter? You will now face the grandmaster of being a jerk on Twitter.”

TV is better than film: “I went to vote for the People’s Choice Awards online because actors in our show got nominated, and I realized that I hate everything. Every movie. “That was dumb, didn’t see it, haven’t seen it, hated it.” TV might be better than movies. Shh, don’t tell anyone… No, I stand by it. TV’s better than movies. Everybody knows it. I mean, we act like they’re so great, but what was the last great movie you saw?

[From THR]

The last great movie I saw was Moonlight, and I would recommend it to Tina Fey! But I agree, we’re living in a golden age of television, but that’s only because network television screwed the pooch a decade ago. Now premium cable and basic cable have all of the best stuff. As for what she says about Trump… what I find interesting is that I’ve never gotten the impression that Tina Fey is a liberal person. She’s said before that her father was a Republican, and for the most part, she avoids talking politics in interviews. But it’s clear she absolutely loathes Trump. Also: “I definitely came out of last month feeling misogyny is much more real than two years ago.” Yes. And it’s heartbreaking, isn’t it? Like, it just feels like we’ve taken a giant step back. It’s sickening.


Photos courtesy of THR.

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58 Responses to “Tina Fey, post-election, feels like ‘misogyny is much more real than two years ago’”

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  1. Vivivoom says:

    I don’t feel like her at all. I think we’ve been in an equally bad place 2 years ago. The one good thing about this whole thing with Trump is the fact that now its finally out in the open. We have to face what kind of country we are and stop pretending that America is good to everybody and that the American Dream is possible for everybody.

    I don’t like Tina that much. I think she’s pretty close to Lena and Amy style feminism, just not that bad.

    • OhDear says:

      Agreed – it’s just become severe enough so that people *have* to notice.

    • Mousyb says:

      YUP, I commented something similar in yesterday’s Donald Trump post. Bigots are no more present than they were a few years ago – its just that now they feel justified in being open about it. Which, I guess could be a good thing because it causes us as a society to address these issues head on instead of turning a blind eye…

    • Tiffany :) says:

      I disagree. There are probably the same number of bigots that there were before, true. But they now feel emboldened and empowered. There is a reason the number of hate crimes has gone up since the election. There is a reason that we have videos of people screaming about “Hillary bitches” on planes, screaming about being a Trump voter in a Michaels craft store or a Starbucks. It’s because the bigots feel like they won, and that bigotry is acceptable. There HAS been a change.

      • Tate says:

        I agree with you. Bigotry has always been out there but now it feels validated and emboldened.

      • Otaku Fairy says:

        Agree. They’ve been empowered, but they (and their sympathizers) also oddly have a strange persecution complex about their bigotry and their Trump support- as if hatred, xenophobia, racism, misogyny, and their other forms of bigotry haven’t been the status quo for centuries.

      • Tate says:

        @Otaku I have noticed the persecution complex among Trump supporters. It is a strange thing.

      • lucy2 says:


    • Luna says:

      I am much more micro-mysogynistic — specifically against women who bray about the big bad Trump monster.

  2. Nancy says:

    Misogyny pulled up to the pump had got filled up again with this administration. Women are second hand citizens, as are any people of color or any race or creed other than a radical white man. Two steps forward a mile behind. Sigh. Funny about Alec out snarking the president elect on twitter. Seriously what president has hissy fits on twitter, OMG what a horrendous four years this is going to be just waiting to see what will happen next.

    • Kitten says:

      Kasich’s abortion bill in Ohio is proof of that.

      Now we have the news of the new head of the EPA and of course, the rest of Trump’s nightmarish cabinet selection. Meanwhile, the dude is touring middle America, holding rallies. SMDH.

      These are dark, dark times. I keep searching for a silver lining but…nothing. It’s simply an extremely terrifying and bleak time to be an American. I don’t have any hope that this administration won’t cause irrevocable damage.

      We will never be the same again.

      Optimism is dead but we must still fight.

      • Rapunzel says:

        The Ohio abortion bill is nuts, and unfortunately, it’s only gonna get worse.

      • Louisa says:

        Yeah let’s see just how “moderate” Kasich is with his response to the abortion bill that is now on his desk. 6 weeks is essentially an outright ban on abortion.

      • Nicole says:

        @Kitten and others smarter than me and clear headed today.
        Please tell me that if I couldn’t take a baby to term which was discussed today with my OB, could they make me have that baby? I’m in Georgia, but a damn mess today. Lupron for 2 more years has been prescribed, but the doc told me I may never carry to term and may have to abort. Of course I can’t conceive for 2 more years if at all but now I’m losing it. Woth the Ohio law. Georgia isn’t the greatest you know!

      • Kitten says:

        Ugh Nicole, I’m so sorry you’re going through this. I can only imagine how devastated you must be but please try to stay positive. A friend of mine’s husband had a chromosomal defect that resulted in FOUR miscarriages over the course of three years. They were told by three doctors that it was highly unlikely they would ever be able to bring a child to term. It was incredibly heart-breaking but they kept trying with the intention of adopting if it got to be too much.
        Long story short: with consistent therapy and some major luck, my friend gave birth to a little girl earlier this year!

        I know it’s not your exact same situation but please PLEASE stay positive. My friend truly had reached the point where she thought it would never happen and then it did 🙂

        In terms of the abortion bill, I honestly don’t know how that would affect someone in your circumstance…I would imagine you would be considered an exception but with this administration, anything is possible.
        The bill hasn’t officially passed yet BTW, but I imagine it will, given what I know about Kasich’s views on abortion.

      • Nicole says:

        Thank you for that news. You never get to read the successs stories. Or they are just too few and far between. Thank you, you made me like a worthy person today. This ish is tough.

  3. Bettyrose says:

    Well said, Tina. I’ve never thought of her as not being liberal, but maybe those are just assumptions I make about the entertainment industry. She came through Second City/SNL. Women on that circuit have always complained of sexism, but the comedy itself leans liberal.

  4. Patricia says:

    My tolerance for any misogyny is completely gone and that’s a good thing. I see more clearly how women are viewed, spoken about and treated as second class. I see more clearly how society claims ownership over women’s bodies and ambitions. I’m awake to something I didn’t see as well before and for me that’s a good thing, because it’s always been there anyway.

    • skyblue says:

      I second that Patricia! I finally get it and I finally see how pervasive misogyny is. I thought I understood but Trump’s election really made me “see”.

    • Otaku Fairy says:

      +1. Racism too. This was my second time voting in a presidential election and before I started looking at how things were going on the night of the elections (checking like every hour) I was in a good mood and basically thinking, “This little Trump nightmare will be over soon. People are being less apathetic about voting (that’s what it seemed like from the people around me. But didn’t like 40% of the population end up not even voting?) and this man is too dangerous, misogynistic, and openly racist (and KKK-endorsed), among other things, to get enough of the popular vote or the electoral because people are better than that. He’s going to lose, have an epic glorious meltdown, and to top it all off, we’re going to get our first female president.” It’s not that I didn’t see misogyny and racism were alive and well, I just thought there was a certain level of it that most people wouldn’t be willing to enable, and that a Trump administration- and all it would mean for people of color and women, and the risk of war and terrorist attacks that Trump and his supporters represent- would be over the limit for most people. Boy was I wrong.

    • Timbuktu says:

      Seriously, I’ve been looking back on all the million times men much stupider than me looked down at me, spoke to me like I was beneath them, and I want to kick myself for wanting to be the compliant woman and for not telling them to shove it because now my daughter will have to learn to stand up for herself against jerks. Wish I had started that battle years ago.

  5. Rapunzel says:

    Misogyny is much more real than 2 Yrs ago? Nope, Tina. You just weren’t paying attention 2 yrs ago.

    The idea of a misogynist in chief in the White House is serving as a wake up call to those women who have been avoiding reality.

    It’s not more real, just more real to you.

    And this is good. More women need to wake up.

  6. Indiana Joanna says:

    Even though I’m a huge Tina Fey fan, I’m now officially sick of celebrity pontificators about the Trumpster. You know who I admire? Crazy, angry people like Alec Baldwin who still go Tweet to Tweet with Trump. Also love Mark Cuban’s valient twitter stand against him. Another, Bernie Sanders and his pointed outrage against inequality. They are the people who are publicly and directly taking on this horrible man who has an intellect and matching vocabulary of a dyspectic middle schooler.

    Also, I will miss terribly the brilliance, eloquence, elegance, and high mindedness of President Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama.

    • Kitten says:

      The transition from Obama to Trump is going to be like a terrible car crash.
      There is no easy way to do this and nothing about this will be seamless. We’re in for an incredibly rude awakening.

      • Indiana Joanna says:

        I can’t bear to watch or listen to the news anymore because of the chance I might hear his brain-dead intonation spewing inanities and lies. Just can’t.

        So sad.

      • Kitten says:

        Yeah I’m dedicated to a few sources: the Guardian, Robert Reich’s coverage, Mother Jones, WaPo, NYT…but I’m like you in that I CANNOT bear to hear this man’s voice.

      • Nicole says:

        Have you ladies seen the Triumph special on HULU? Very funny, but I’m not ready for the last episode. I’m just not ready. Looking forward to La La Land for an escape.

    • Escaped Convent says:

      Indiana Joanna, I applaud your comment. 👏

  7. MissMerry says:

    the last great movie I saw was last night when we watched Hunt for the Wilderpeople.

    Very well-done, well-acted, well-writen, well-shot.
    almost west anderson-y, but Sam Neill was killer and the boy Julian Dennison is just amazing.

    Highly Recommend!

    • Indiana Joanna says:

      Agree, Hunt for the Wilderpeople is a wonderful movie. Sam Neill has been my favorite actor since I watched the BBC production of “Reilly Ace of Spies” decades ago. He’s a great actor.

      • SusanneToo says:

        Aaaahh, Reilly. I’d seen Neill in Australian films before, but Reilly is when I really fell for him. Great series.

      • Termoli77 says:

        Watch Sam in “My Brilliant Career” with Judy Davis and you will swoon.

    • lightpurple says:

      My favorite movie of 2016.

    • SusanneToo says:

      Eveyone in Wilderpeople was great. And the director, Taika Watiti, is directing the new Thor, so it’s on my list to see. He also co-directed What we Do in the Shadows, one of my faves from a couple of years ago. If you haven’t seen it, get it now! It’s a tongue in cheek documentary about a family of vampires. Very funny.

  8. robyn says:

    We haven’t taken a step backward. It’s been there all along and this election just revealed it in a cold and stark way. We all have had Trump’s in our lives to some degree but I didn’t know there were so many of them … millions who don’t recognize who they really are when they look in the mirror. I feel Hillary was abused in this election. I know she put herself out there and she’s not complaining but I feel this unprecedented vitriol and hatred toward her by both men and women speaks louder than words about where women stand in America. People like to blame her, of course, for not being exactly the right example but I venture to say it was not she who was corrupted but the minds of the American Trump voter. He set a better example than her? Come on, America, everyone knows that’s not true.

  9. Kate says:

    I kind of take issue with the idea that Tina is a “Mean Girl to other women who she doesn’t respect”. Tina is a b*tch to women AND men she doesn’t respect all the time. It’s one of the things I like about her.

    • Locke Lamora says:

      She said she was a mean girl in high school and it coloured my view of her, I have to say. She didn’t sound apologetic about it either.

      But I dont think anyone gets to be a bitch to people. Sure, if they’re outright horrible like Trump and doing actual harmfull things, then okay, but when it comes to some other people, there is no need to be horrible.
      She was awful about Paris Hilton, talking about her man feet etc, which was just in poor taste.

  10. robyn says:

    Tina also mentions human interaction online and I wanted to add:

    Verbal abuse online as well as on those campaign signs will be on the rise thanks to Trump breaking the boundaries of hateful commentary. I think he actually lost his mind a little when Rosie O’Donnell dared to make fun of him all those years ago. That was her job as a comedian and a lot more has come his way now from others. But Trump couldn’t take it. He got personal and very ugly. Even if he thought he was in the right, it should have been beneath him to retaliate in such an uncouth way. It not only revealed something about him, it revealed something about the American people who laughed at every hateful comment he made about her over the years. He hits back harder his supporters like to say. Well he has a lot bigger flies to swat nowadays. The nuclear bomb at his fingertips should make everyone uneasy.

  11. Insomniac says:

    Whatever, Tina. Remember when someone asked you about the election last year and you gave some eye-rolly “I hate all of them” answer? Still feel that way now?

    • mee says:

      Didn’t know that she said that. She bugs me bc yes she seems only one step away from Amy S. Too bad if she was that uninterested last year. It’s people with that attitude who’ve led us to this catastrophe. (aside from the nut jobs who supported Trump, that is…)

  12. tracking says:

    LOL on the Trump-Baldwin twitter comment. Some excellent double shade right there.

  13. Miranda says:

    On election night, my entire family was upset, but only my stepmom and I were crying, and my dad and stepbrother didn’t really understand why we were so emotional. We explained it to them later, but I don’t know if any man, no matter how feminist they are, could ever fully understand it. Trump’s “victory” (we won the popular vote, we need to remind the Republicans of that every day for the next 4 years!) sent a message to women and girls that you can work hard, get good grades, attend good schools, dedicate your life to public service, fight for women and children, become a senator, become Secretary of State…and you will still lose to a racist POS whose opinion of women is so low that he can’t even talk about his own daughter without reducing her to a sex object. Of course it existed all along, but now misogyny is definitely out and proud, and it’s scary.

  14. Suzanne says:

    ‘Mean Girl to other women who she doesn’t respect’ She’ll fit right in on this site

  15. Erica_V says:

    I watched the movie Race this weekend about Jesse Owens and the woman she refers to Leni Riefenstahl is played in the movie – never knew who she was but now I’m fascinated! I didn’t know she had an autobiography so I need to put that on my Christmas list ASAP!

    • SusanneToo says:

      She gets an extremely sympathetic portrayal in Race. She did defy Hitler in the filming of Jesse Owens, but still stayed and worked with the Nazis rather than leave Germany which so many other artists did.

  16. Marty says:

    Hmmm . . .

    I like Tina Fey, but I’m not hearing any women at work, at home, or out and about, expressing the same feeling.

    Other than concern regarding the makeup of the Supreme Court, which I share and am equally concerned, I’d like to hear Tina’s perspective on EVERY issue (since 1991) pertaining to women that surrounds HRC and the actions (not words alone) of the misogyny master A.K.A. William Jefferson Clinton.


  17. lucy2 says:

    I think Tina grew up in a Republican family and probably has some carry over from that, but I also think she’s completely liberal on social issues. Not uncommon, though the GOP has taken such a hard right in the past few years, it’s beyond what many of us grew up with.

    I think there are some beautiful and amazing films out there, but overall I think a lot of the great storytelling has gone to TV, especially with the freedom that premium and streaming offer, and the popularity of limited series. I also think it’s a LOT better for women and people of color than the mainstream film industry.