T.J. Miller Clarifies Statements About Men Being Funnier Than Women

Update: Miller has sent a series of tweets in a seeming attempt to clarify his remarks to New York magazine.
In response to a tweet about Splinter News' writeup on the New York article, the comedian wrote that he is "getting used as click bait." Miller also sent several tweets explaining that he does believe "women are funny," but that "society" gets in the way.
And apparently, the tweet about "society" was so important, Miller sent the same thing a second time.
This story was originally published at 11:20 a.m. EDT.
Another day, another bizarre interview with T.J. Miller.
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The Emoji Movie star sat down with New York magazine senior editor David Marchese for this week's issue, and the actor's statements are just as puzzling as you'd expect. Miller talked about his recent move to New York, the comedians he admires, and, yes, his recent departure from HBO's Silicon Valley. But as with most Miller interviews, there are plenty of strange statements about unrelated topics, too. For instance, Miller apparently doesn't believe that women are as funny as men.
"They're taught to suppress their sense of humor during their formative years," Miller told Marchese of women.
It's not clear whether Miller was joking with that statement. He's known to be sarcastic in interviews — he probably doesn't actually believe Yogi Bear 3D was the "best thing" he's done in his career. But in some ways, his statement also echoes what Iliza Shlesinger told Deadline last month.
"Women want to be treated as equals, and we want feminism to be a thing, but it's really difficult when every woman makes the same point about her vagina, over and over," Shlesinger said of female comics in the much-criticized interview. "I think shock value works well for women, but beyond that, there's no substance. I want to see what else there is with such complex, smart creatures."
In most ways, Shlesinger couldn't be more different from Miller, but their statements seem to come from the same place (at least, in our interpretation). Both of their quotes suggest that some female comedians rely on so-called vulgar humor to overcome that "ladylike," or as Miller might say, "suppressive," stereotype about women. But without more context, it's not clear if that really is what Miller meant, or if he actually thinks female comics just aren't as good as male comics.
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Still, Miller has no problem throwing shade at male comedians (and openly dissing them, too). In a recent appearance on Watch What Happens Live With Andy Cohen, Miller called Louis C.K. "overrated." And in his now-infamous interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Miller praised Silicon Valley lead Thomas Middleditch, while also shading him for "want[ing] to be the star of the show." So it's possible Miller was joking with his comment to New York.
That's not to say we should let all of his recent comments slide, though. In various interviews about Silicon Valley, Miller has suggested that the loss of his character, Erlich Bachman, will keep the show from becoming stale. "It's only gonna become better with me not on it," Miller recently told Jimmy Kimmel of the show.
That's not giving much credit to the Silicon Valley writers, who have engineered plenty of surprising "pivots" (as Jared would say) throughout the show's first four seasons, without Erlich leaving the main ensemble.
But whatever you think of Miller, he seems to be loving the attention to all of his interviews.
"People need a villain, and I'm occupying that space," the comedian told Marchese in the New York interview. "If I'd just said it was an honor to work on Silicon Valley and was thankful to [producer] Alec Berg, I would have disappeared. Instead, by being just a little authentic, I infected the news cycle."
Correction: An earlier version of this story misspelled Iliza Shlesinger's last name. Refinery29 regrets the error.
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