Carol, Tina, Amy: the women who decide

February 1, 2016 13:45:01 Posted at February 1, 2016 13:45:01
Lainey Posted by Lainey
Kevin Winter/ Mark Davis/ Steve Granitz/ Stefanie Keenan/ Kevork Djansezian/ Getty Images

The SAG Awards were only two hours long. Did you recognise more of yourself and the people in your life in those two short hours than you have during an award show in a while? Sure, it wasn’t perfect. But before perfect, we have to get to better.

One of those moments of “better” happened when Tina Fey and Amy Poehler presented Carol Burnett with the Lifetime Achievement Award. They started at funny, and how funny, especially in women, is underappreciated in a business that often prioritises drama over comedy. From there they moved on to Carol’s example as a boss. Carol Burnett was the star of her own show. She performed. And she decided.

“Besides seeing the comedy every week, and how funny she was, and how beautiful she looked, it was important for us to see that Carol was also the boss. It was her show. And that implanted in our brains, and it made us dream of a life where we could get paid to make comedy with our friends, but also be their boss.”

And even though that last bit is humour, it doesn’t mean it’s not true. And that it’s not awesome. Carol carried on that message during her own remarks once she arrived on stage, sharing memories of her childhood and her experience with the network that originally told her that she could push the button – which she did – even though they also reminded her that the people who pushed the button were always men.

No, not always.

Not for Tina Fey, not for Amy Poehler, not for Shonda Rhimes, not for Lena Dunham, not for Amy Schumer, or Ellen DeGeneres, certainly not for Oprah, or Ava DuVernay. Next year marks the 50th anniversary of the first episode of The Carol Burnett Show. I might be missing a few names, but that list needs to get a lot longer.

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