Abbi Jacobson says FX turned down Broad City for being 'too girly'
What’s the opposite of “yaaaaaas”?
It’s not unusual for networks to pass on shows before they find a home elsewhere, but according to Broad City co-creator and star Abbi Jacobson, FX turned down the critically acclaimed comedy for a disappointing, sexist reason: It was “too girly.”
Jacobson and Ilana Glazer originally created Broad City as a web series about two twentysomething best friends navigating life in New York City, and after developing it for TV with the help of executive producer Amy Poehler, they got a pilot order from FX. But as Jacobson recounts in her new book, I Might Regret This, the network wasn’t feeling it.
“After we got to a place we all felt good, it was handed up to the man in charge, the man we never met, the man at the top. He’d probably never heard of us, the show, or the year we’d been in development, and he wasn’t into it,” Jacobson writes of the FX pilot. “It was, as we were told, ‘too girly.’ So, they passed. We were devastated. This thing that was once so far-fetched has actually started to come to fruition, and then was abruptly taken away.”
An FX spokesperson did not immediately respond to EW’s request for comment about Jacobson’s remarks.
Broad City ultimately landed at Comedy Central, where it has run for four seasons (with a fifth and final installment on the way), received glowing reviews, and connected with a devoted fan base. But despite the show’s success, Jacobson and Glazer have continued to deal with sexism in the entertainment industry. At EW’s recent actor-memoirist roundtable, Jacobson shared an on-set experience where she and Glazer had to confront an actor after he made a sexist remark.
“Ilana and I just dealt with this on [the Broad City] set, where an actor said something that he thought was a compliment to Ilana about her body, and I was right there, and we were both, like, shook,” Jacboson recalled. “And we’re the showrunners! We are the bosses of the whole show. But I guess he didn’t know that.”
Watch the clip above for more, and make sure to check out the full roundtable conversation.