Gender equality isn’t a laughing matter, but a group of A-list comedians is driving home the absurdity of how many economic barriers between men and women still exist.
Philanthropist Melinda Gates' company Pivotal Ventures launched a new campaign on Tuesday called Equality Can’t Wait, with a stand-up reel that highlights the harsh realities of inequality. Directed by Orange Is the New Black (OITNB) and Russian Doll actress Natasha Lyonne, the video’s star-studded cast includes Maya Rudolph, Nick Kroll, Sarah Silverman, Fred Armisen, Ilana Glazer, and more.
In under five minutes, each comedian delivers a bit that spotlights the World Economic Forum’s staggering prediction that in the US the gender gap will not close for another 208 years.
OITNB actress Uzo Aduba does the math on stage –– “That’s 1,456 dog years,” she calculates.
“The statistics are abysmal; the best entry point to tackle an absurdity this profound is to come at it sideways, through comedy — because what else can you do?” Lyonne told the Hollywood Reporter.
Gender equality isn’t just a women’s issue. Lyonne said she wanted to include men in the video because everyone must participate in the fight for change.
“I guarantee men’s lives will be better if women’s lives are better too,” Kroll assures viewers.
The alarming stats woven in with raunchy jokes keep coming, until on a more serious note, Rudolph mentions the future generations that will suffer if we don’t act quickly.
“You guys know I have 3 daughters right?” she says. “This is actually terrifying.”
But the video doesn’t leave viewers hopeless. Glazer shares her frustrating experience reporting sexual harassment and then challenges viewers to have one conversation this week about gender equality, at home, with a friend, or at work. Using the hashtag #equalitycantwait, the campaign encourages people to “start a conversation about what needs to change.”
“Let’s get equality done faster,” says Broad City actress Abbi Jacobson. “Like, in our lifetime.”
Disclosure: Melinda Gates is the co-founder of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, a funding partner of Global Citizen.
Editor's note: This piece has been updated to include a disclosure that the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation is a funding partner of Global Citizen. We regret the oversight.