In a recent interview with GQ, TV funnywoman Tina Fey discussed an episode from 30 Rock this past season which had been directly aimed at Jezebel and their coverage of Olivia Munn’s work on The Daily Show. On the show, a fake website called “Joan of Snark” went after a “hot” female comedian who was a clear stand-in for Munn.
I was actually really pleased that Jezebel got that it was about the whole Olivia thing, because the treatment of Olivia was weird on that site. She just kept getting reamed! And it was this weird mix. They would go after her, and then the next thing would be like, “Defending the Rights of Sex Workers.” And I was just like, “Well, why can’t we just say Olivia’s a sex worker? Leave her alone!”
Obviously I’m not a fan of Munn’s. I’ve said so a number of times. And what bothers me about Fey’s comments is that it feeds into this weird notion that feminists or feminist sites ought to support women just because they’re women. It also comes from the belief that somehow hot women don’t get the same treatment because of jealousy on the part of the writers or viewers. For instance: I do think that a lot of the content I’ve seen, both on Jezebel and on our own site, of Megan Fox has been unncessarily nasty. If Megan Fox weren’t on the cover of every men’s magazine and every men’s blog between 2007-2010, I think that her frank and honest interviews would have been applauded, rather than sneered at.
But, at the risk of beating a very dead horse here, I really don’t think that’s the case with Munn. Most of Fox’s controversial comments were about the fact that she knew she wasn’t much more than a HPOA in a bad summer movie and she was labelled as ungrateful. Please — she was half-naked most of the time in not one but two movies about shape-shifting robot cars. Citizen Kane it was not, and should she really be lambasted for pointing that out?
Munn, on the other hand, insists on arguing that she isn’t just a HPOA while posing for any and every men’s magazine and appearing on The Daily Show in tiny skirts and crop tops to deliver unfunny skits with her fully-dressed co-stars, male and female. It doesn’t seem unreasonable to raise an eyebrow at that.
Tina Fey, I love you, but I think you missed the point here.