[...] No less than 27 female comics from this year's Melbourne International Comedy Festival, which ends today, signed a letter deriding independent TV casting agent [Henrie Stride], who scoured the comedy festival for new talent and concluded that much of women's comedy was "angry and quite hard, bitter, man-hating, lesbiany"...
... Stride, a former Channel Nine casting director, directed most of her criticism at the narrow casting on commercial television, rather than female comedians. She laments the way commercial stations "turn everything bland" by preferring attractive, likeable personalities they see as marketable to mass audiences. "Don't shoot the messenger," she said yesterday. "I don't make the programming choices; I put forward the people somebody else chooses.
"A lot of people I know in my industry have said to me it's the white elephant in the room that nobody is brave enough to talk about." But she is sorry for the upset her comments have caused female comedians. "I was too judgemental and a bit harsh in hindsight … I hurt people and that was certainly not my intention."
So if you’re thinking of getting into comedy and you’re a lady, make sureyou stay upbeat and pretty! Don’t do any of that silly political material - it will only give you wrinkles. And for god’s sake don’t be lesbiany. That’s so important that Stride has made up a whole new word to get it across.
In fact, the word “lesbiany” gets to the heart of the matter. For a start,it’s not a real word. Secondly, by directly telling us that LESBIAN = BAD, Stride has tipped from latent homophobia to overt homophobia.