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Ageism at the Emmys

Let's rethink the way we talk about women over 50

By Heidi Raschke

In youth-obsessed Hollywood, ageism — particularly ageist bias against women — is no joke. But Jimmy Kimmel found a funny way to address the issue while hosting last night’s Emmy awards, with a single line that nailed it. "It's hard to find an actress over 50," Kimmel quipped. "That's why they hired Louie."

Louie Anderson at the 2016 Primetime Emmy Awards
Louie Anderson at the 2016 Primetime Emmy Awards  |  Credit: ABC

Kimmel was referring to 63-year-old Louie Anderson, who won the Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series Emmy for his role as Christine Baskets in FX's Baskets.

“I have not always been a very good man, but I play one hell of a woman,” Anderson said in his acceptance speech.


The Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series award went to 32-year-old Kate McKinnon of Saturday Night Live fame. Jeffrey Tambor won Outstanding Actor in a Comedy Series for his transgender role in Amazon's Transparent; in his acceptance speech, he said he hoped to be the last cisgender actor to play a transgender female.

Meanwhile, on Twitter, lots of love was being given to older actresses. Too bad most of it was for women “not looking their age:”


Heidi Raschke is a longtime journalist and editor who previously was the Executive Editor of Mpls-St. Paul Magazine and Living and Learning Editor at Next Avenue. Currently, she runs her own content strategy and development consultancy. Read More
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