126 people have written or co-written an episode of “The Simpsons,” most of whose names you probably don’t know. Among that company is Mimi Pond, who happens to have penned the long-running show’s first episode; in a new Jezebel interview, Pond says that she never became a full-time member of the writing staff because she’s a woman.
“I was never invited to be on staff, and I never knew why for the longest time,” she says of her experiences. Eventually the truth came out:
“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.”
The AV Club helpfully crunched some numbers, revealing that only eight percent of the 616 episodes “The Simpsons” has aired include a woman screenwriter. In other words, we’re still a long way away from the world that Lisa Simpson dreams of.