You can’t accuse comedy director Paul Feig of not choosing sides. In a time when the supposed culture wars make a person either an “us” or a “them,” Feig is clear about which side of the line he is on. “I personally love the woke movement,” he told the Hollywood Reporter. “It puts the pressure on. The people who get mad about it are people who just don’t want to think about it. But you have to think about it because we’re representing everybody, and you don’t want anybody to feel underrepresented or like they’re being portrayed in a way that is not necessarily exploitative, but even just pandering — like, ‘There you go. Here’s your crumbs, off you go.’”
Feig, one of the creators of Bridesmaids and Freaks and Geeks, says those “woke” principles are alive and well on Minx, the show that David Zaslav and Max axed even though it had nearly finished filming a second season. The workplace comedy about the first erotic magazine for women was picked up by Starz earlier this year.
“I really credit (show creator) Ellen (Rapoport),” says Feig, an executive producer on Minx. “I’m always just amazed every time these scripts come in at just how nuanced it is and how well she walks that line. It’s very self-aware, and it has to be because, again, if it’s not, then you have the situation you talked about where you stumble into doing the right thing, which is great, but it’d be better if you knew why you’re doing the right thing.”
Feig is grateful for the second life Minx has found on Starz, knowing that not all shows get a chance at resurrection. Even when the reviews are good and other networks are interested, it’s not a slam dunk that. show will be brought back to life. “That happened with Freaks and Geeks,” Feig says. “MTV wants Freaks and Geeks, but they want to do it for like a quarter of the budget. It’s like, ‘Well, we can’t do that.’”
But it happened for Minx, a show that Rapoport, Feig and the writers are bringing to life with “woke” principles in mind. “Having grown up in the 1970s, I remember Playboy and Playgirl magazines,” he says. “I remember the whole Moral Majority. And suddenly, you’d go into 7-Eleven, and there were things covering the magazines that used to be out in the open. It brings all the conversation and controversy about the portrayal of sex in our lives, but in a way that’s not going to put our audience off how some shows that other people really like to do, but that I’m just going, ‘I can’t deal with it. It’s too much about young people having sex. It’s not fun for me, just as an adult.’
“Our show makes sex fun. Fun and silly, but meaningful.”