By Ashleigh Clarke
BBC’s director Danny Cohen demanded a ban on all male line-ups last year. Shows such as Mock the Week and Have I Got News For You have all been previously criticized in the past due to their male dominated panels. Cohen later told the BBC that there is no excuse for not having more female panellists featured on the show. However, the policy has been criticized by some people who say that women won’t want to appear on the show in fear of being seen as a “token woman”. Writer Caitlin Moran was asked to appear on a panel show but turned it down because of this reason.
Most comedy panel shows aired on UK television generally have male hosts and guests and only include a few female participants at a time. It’s becoming problem as half of the population are being under represented in these long running TV shows.
Within the past week, Jimmy Carr has told Newsbeat that “positive discrimination is needed to get more women on television comedy panel shows”. He stated that women change the balance on the programmes which in turn affects how everyone interacts with each other for the better.
Female comedian Victoria Wood addressed the shows as being “testosterone filled” and Jo Brand has also stated that she no longer considered being a part of Mock the Week and will no longer appear on the programme.
Although these statements are right in their own sense, I think that it has to be argued that having more women on these shows would be a very effective move and it would mean that more women are being represented on television. By doing this it would also make other female comedians feel more comfortable about appearing on these types of shows.
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