Published Aug 17, 2017Despite its status as one of the most beloved television shows of all time, The Simpsons is not immune to criticism. Hari Kondabolu recently announced a documentary accusing the show of racial stereotyping with the character of Apu. Now, a former writer has spoken out about the show's sexist hiring practices.
Mimi Pond is a graphic novelist and artist who wrote the show's first-ever episode, "Simpsons Roasting on an Open Fire." In a new interview with Jezebel, Pond explained that she wasn't hired onto the show's full-time staff because it was a "boys' club."
Here's the relevant passage:
I was never invited to be on staff, and I never knew why for the longest time. No one ever called me or explained to me or apologized or anything. And it wasn't until years later that I found out that Sam Simon, who was the showrunner, didn't want any women around because he was going through a divorce. It had remained a boys' club for a good long time. I feel like I was just as qualified as anyone else who came along and got hired on the show, and it was just because I was a woman that I was, you know, not allowed entry into that club. I always wind up being the turd in the punchbowl because the show is so beloved and everything, and I'm sorry to burst bubbles but [laughs]. It wasn't a pleasant experience for me.
She added that she was disappointed in the show for not having her back. "Just in terms of being denied the opportunity to participate in something that became that big is kind of a drag," she said. "And then having to explain this over and over is the biggest drag of all."
Pond's latest book The Customer Is Always Wrong will arrive this month through Drawn & Quarterly.