If you are a hipster, film buff, techie, or stand-up comedy fan (or I guess any combination of the four) the annual South By South West festival in Austin is the place to be. Unfortunately this year’s stand-up line up is already not without controversy. Apparently the recently released lineup of comedians featured 31 comedians, of which only one was female. Come on! I’ve seen D&D games with a better male to female ratio.
A few perturbed comedians went to the modern equivalent of the most non committal soap box ever, Twitter. Comedian Sarah Benincasa tweeted “Jesus. SXSW Comedy booked one female this year. One.”
SXSW responded to the accusations on their website:
If you follow SXSW, you may know that our initial announcements are rarely complete, and this year is no exception. While we’re proud of the roster of great comedians set to join us in Austin next month, we were disappointed by the fact that we could only include one woman in our initial release.
Before anyone attacks SXSW for blatant sexism, it’s also important to note that according to them only three women actually applied to perform. Now I am not saying they are blameless in promoting some gender diversity, but three applications is pretty piss poor.
Interesting… so while it’s easy to sometimes just dismiss this as a stand-up/man’s world argument, it appears there are a lot of funny female comedians that missed out on an opportunity.