"Beautiful Women...Aren't Funny" Says Former Head Of Disney To Goldie Hawn

Photo: Richard Young/REX USA
Just when we thought the debate over whether or not good looking women could be funny had finally been put to bed (thank you, Tina Fey, Amy Schumer, and way too many other talented ladies to try to name here), former Disney CEO Michael Eisner decided to reignite the retrograde argument during a discussion with Goldie Hawn at the Aspen Ideas Festival this week, reports The Atlantic.

“From my position, the hardest artist to find is a beautiful, funny woman,” Eisner told the Academy Award-winning actress. “By far. They usually—boy am I going to get in trouble, I know this goes online—but usually, unbelievably beautiful women, you being an exception, are not funny.”

When Hawn credited her own sense of humor to being a self-described "ugly duckling," Eisner continued: "You didn’t think you were beautiful. I know women who have been told they're beautiful, they win Miss Arkansas, they don't ever have to get attention other than with their looks. So they don't tell a joke. In the history of the motion-picture business, the number of beautiful, really beautiful women—a Lucille Ball—that are funny, is impossible to find."

It's hard to imagine Lucille Ball, who became the first woman to run a major television network in 1962 (Desilu Productions, later renamed as Paramount Television), agreeing with Eisner's inflammatory statements.

The most upsetting takeaway from this conversation is that Eisner, who became president of Paramount in his thirties before serving as CEO of Disney from 1984-2005, likely used these sexist standards to determine a large portion of what stories made it to the big screen during his long tenure. At least he also gave us The Little Mermaid? (If you forget about the fact that all Ariel really needed to do to rescue herself was write a damn note.)

Bottom line: Let's just stop this antiquated debate. No one is saying — or would even think to say — similar things about male comedians. Women are funny. Female leads can fill a movie theater. And the earth is round.2:33
Advertisement