Lee Aronsohn, co-creator of the sitcom “Two and a Half Men," thinks that there are just too many women on television these days.
During an interview Sunday with The Hollywood Reporter at the Toronto Screenwriting Conference, Aronsohn derided the female-centric television shows that have premiered this year on major networks, including NBC’s “Whitney” and CBS’ “2 Broke Girls.”
"Enough ladies, I get it. You have periods,” he said. “But we’re approaching peak vagina on television, the point of labia saturation.”
Unfortunately, he didn’t stop there.
“Two and a Half Men” is known for its less-than-flattering portrayals of women. Aronsohn, who is also an executive producer of the show, told conference attendees that he didn’t feel bad about how his show presents its female characters. “Screw it… We're centering the show on two very damaged men. What makes men damaged? Sorry, it’s women. I never got my heart broken by a man.”
Aronsohn's comments provoked a backlash on Twitter, possibly because they are inaccurate. While women make up the majority of TV-watchers, as of last year, they only made up 15 percent of its writers. After the interview went up this morning, actress Martha Plimpton tweeted:
Um, Lee, women are 51% of the population & a coveted demographic for advertisers. What are you thinking? hollywoodreporter.com/news/lee-arons…
— Martha Plimpton (@MarthaPlimpton) April 2, 2012
Vulture’s Margaret Lyons wrote that Aronsohn’s remarks were indicative of a larger issue -- women feeling alienated in comedy writing:
Time and time again we hear that part of why women are underrepresented in comedy writers rooms is that they simply don't apply for as many positions as men do. Gee, we can't imagine what could be keeping them away.
Aronsohn initially responded with sarcasm, tweeting “Ladies, look up irony,” reported The New York Times. (That tweet has since been removed from his account). He has now backpedaled, saying:
Yes, yes - it was a stupid joke. I'm sorry.
— Lee Aronsohn (@BennyAce) April 2, 2012
While it remains to be seen how Aronsohn’s comments will impact his bid to get “Two and a Half Men” renewed, they’ve at the very least added a new hilarious hashtag to the Twittersphere. “The Daily Show” co-creator Lizz Winstead started tweeting titles for hypothetical shows Aronsohn might consider #ladysitcoms. Her first contribution? “Love Bloat.”
LOOK: Twitter Reactions To Lee Aronsohn's Comments About Women-Centric TV