Monday, October 12, 2009

Mad Men Writer Kater Gordon Fired Because 'She's Reached Her Full Potential'

Kater Gordon, one of Mad Men's seven women writers (no, that's not a typo, I said 7 women writers! - pictured at left), has been fired and fired only 3 weeks after winning an Emmy for Mad Men.

I was hooked on this show long before I learned that Mad Men's writers are overwhelmingly women. (But see some pesky details here.)

The details surrounding the firing of Kater Gordon sound like a Mad Men episode. Starting with Mad Men creator Matthew Weiner's mad assertion that Kater Gordon is leaving the show because she's "reached her full potential." The woman won an Emmy 3 weeks ago and now she's reached her full potential?!?!

I like what commenter drinkwater says over at Jezebel:

I believe that the Steinem standard applies; Switch the gender in the situation and see how it pans out. If it were a male writer and the statement had been made, how would that sound? "We think he's reached his full potential"? It sounds patronizing. And it is.

Add this intriguing item to the plot: Kater Gordon got her job as full time staff writer the "Peggy Olson-esque way," i.e., by moving up the ranks from the position of Matthew Weiner's personal assistant.

Then throw in the Letterman Effect, aka the old time sexist adage that women have no talent and so must sleep their way to the top, and we are talking about old time gender politics or an episode of Mad Men. Of course, part of Mad Men's seductiveness is that the gender politics are never quite as "old time" as they might appear.