My favorite Employees of the Month are those who work hard, find duly deserved success, artistically and (ideally) financially, and never lose their humility. Enter Cindy Chupack. In our interview, the writer turned director spoke candidly about the subtle forms of sexism women face, even writing for progressive shows, like Modern Family or directing in Manlywood. She also generously baked cookies for the audience, flew them across the country, and shared them as well as her hilariously candid books, “The Longest Date: Life as a Wife" and "The Between Boyfriends Book.” You can get those books at www.cindychupack.com, cookies not included.
We're living in a potentially pivotal period for women, particularly in entertainment. There are a growing number of female comedy darlings in entertainment, like Amy Schumer, Tina Fey, Lena Dunham, Mindy Kaling, and Amy Poehler, but overall Hollywood has miles to go. Yes, it's hard for anyone to make it, especially in comedy, as it's now seen as viable profession. But even those who have demonstrated that they're funny, marketable, posses a unique point of view, prolific, and garnered a fan base and critical acclaim, put up with absurdly provincial misogyny, be it from females or male executives. Cindy and I also spoke about the pressure from scions like Sheryl Sandberg and Arianna Huffington for women to overcompensate, be it by "Leaning In" or being "Fearless," without acknowledging the price tag.
Luckily, more and more successful women and men, like Mark Ruffalo, Lizz Winstead (Creator of The Daily Show), and Lena Dunham are speaking out and, moreover, audiences are too. (You can undermine half your work office, but you can't alienate half your consumer base.)
In our interview, Cindy Chupack also spoke about firing versus being fired and segueing into directing. Cindy has the rare talent of being able to write for multiple mediums. When not writing for television shows like Everybody Loves Raymond and Sex-And-The-City or creating and producing her own, she garnered a personal fan base for her stories at The Moth and essays in The New York Times and O Magazine. She is finally directing her first feature.
I interviewed Cindy Chupack previously on Employee of the Month's podcast, and encourage anyone aspiring to write for a living or who already does write for a living to check out our previous podcast. It was a pleasure to fete her on the live taping, which was recorded at Joe's Pub. If you enjoyed our interview or wish you could enjoy cookies, come to the season finale and next live taping of Employee of the Month, Thursday, June 25th at 9:30 pm in New York. I can't promise there will be cookies, but it will be a sweet evening. Once you hear our interview, you'll hear why.