How has the viewership and accessibility of female comedians changed from 2008 to 2018, as measured by the number of shows available on online streaming services (Netflix, Hulu and Amazon Video) and viewership of top-10 female-headed talk shows on their respective YouTube channels of videos on their top 5 most-viewed videos?
We chose to look at the idea of female comedians given that this is a very historically male-dominated field, and a recurring theme in many articles that were read in research cited a lack of platforms and accessibility for women to break out in this industry. Especially given the rise in popularity and use of online streaming sites, such as Netflix, Hulu and Amazon Video, as well as the prevalent cultural influence of YouTube, it would be interesting to pursue research in seeing how well this new industry has helped or hurt women in trying to get their careers in comedy off the ground.
There seems to be a misconception in society that women are not funny. Female comedians are looking to change this misconception, but struggle to find an audience to listen to them. The industry is largely male-dominated, and those men often abuse their position of power to take advantage of others. Recently, many women are coming forward to report these sexual misconducts, as in the case of male comedian Louis C.K. (Ryzik). A change in the power dynamics within comedy needs to happen and only will happen if women receive access to platforms in order to gain support, a following, and an independent career.
Our research question aims to find whether such progress in female comedy has been occurring and, if it has, to what extent it has been growing. Recently, there has been a push by feminists to add more women in traditionally male-dominated careers and job environments. Comedy has not given women an adequate platform in the past. Our research aims to see if progress towards a more equal representation in this field is being made.
Chandra, Akshay. “Top 10 Late Night Talk Shows on YouTube – U.S Edition.” Vidooly.com, 19 Mar. 2018, vidooly.com/blog/top-10-late-night-talk-shows-on-youtube-u-s-edition/.
Ryzik, Melena, et al. “Louis C.K. Is Accused by 5 Women of Sexual Misconduct.” The New York Times, The New York Times, 9 Nov. 2017, www.nytimes.com/2017/11/09/arts/television/louis-ck-sexual-misconduct.html.