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Silicon Valley star blasts tech’s women problem: “What kind of culture do we bring these men up in?”

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Anna Silman interviews T.J. Miller about women in Silicon Valley:

I wanted to ask about some of the criticism the show faced in the first season about the lack of women on the show. I know that there has been an attempt to balance that this season with the introduction of the Laurie character. Do you think that these criticisms are fair?

It’s ridiculous. We’re trying to reflect Silicon Valley to the rest of the world accurately, and [in] making fun of it, obviously we had to take some liberties through comedy. But I thought it was so interesting that people attacked the show for not having enough women, instead of attacking Silicon Valley for not having enough women. We’re doing the same thing. We’re on the audience’s side. We’re on the side of the people who should be examining Silicon Valley and why there aren’t so many women, why it’s not very diverse. Should that be something we talk about? Yeah, apparently! [The show] is an easy target, instead of looking at themselves, looking inward.

And there’s so many journalists in general, and quite a few female journalists, that will say “You gotta show women in these parts.” And I get that, if it’s an original story — which there aren’t anymore in the film industry, as I’m beginning to find out, since I just joined the fourth installment of “Transformers” and the “Deadpool” franchise. But when there is an original story and there’s not any women, that’s not a real reflection of life. Half of the people involved in everyday life are women.

But in “Silicon Valley,” that’s purposeful. We’re trying to say isn’t it strange — and what kind of culture do we bring these men up in, where they literally not only have awkward interactions with girls, and computers are their best friend, but they don’t have any women to interact with? So that creates a very strange schism in that culture, where you got these guys who want to work with and be with women, but are not facilitating that.

I was surprised no one said, well, it’s a really accurate representation. They just said: “Why don’t you just stick more women in there?” That’s really the grossest thing. To to be like, “put some fucking women in there! Who cares, just get some women. We need a couple more women objects in the thing. Go grab some women props, put them in the show.” That’s the weird thing for me, it’s like: Why not wait? And what has happened in this season is we’ve responded to that, but in a way that is reflective of how a woman would come into the fold in that world. Suzanne Cryer, who plays Laurie, is fantastic, totally an energy that you feel like would work well with Peter Gregory, and also so unique in what is uncomfortable about her. And not to give anything away, but there will be more female characters in the show.

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