Julia Louis-Dreyfus: ‘SNL’ Was a ‘Very Sexist’ Environment in the ’80s

Julia Louis-Dreyfus
Louis-Dreyfus arrives to the 66th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards Christopher Polk/NBC/NBC via Getty Images

Not all fun and games. Julia Louis-Dreyfus revealed during a recent interview with The New York Times that she wasn’t too fond of the environment at Saturday Night Live during her time on the sketch comedy show. According to the Veep star, SNL had a “sexist” climate when she was part of the cast from 1982 to 1985.

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The Seinfeld alum, now 55, explained that during her tenure at SNL, women weren’t given equal treatment.

“I did not come out of SNL as any kind of name. I didn’t do anything particularly great when I was there. I didn’t. It’s fine. But I learned a tremendous amount,” she told the paper. “It was a very sexist environment. Since I’ve gone back, I can tell you it’s much more of an equal-opportunity environment.”

That said, she’s incredibly thankful for the gig, which ultimately led her to Seinfeld because of Larry David, who was a writer on SNL.

Gary Kroeger and Julia Louis-Dreyfus
Kroeger and Louis-Dreyfus on Saturday Night Live in 1984. Reggie Lewis/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images

“I was on [SNL] for three years, and when I left, I made this conscious decision that I would not take any jobs that didn’t seem as if they would be really fun,” she explained. “That’s very simplistic and Pollyannaish sounding, but really, I noted that. I’m not doing this unless I can have a deep sense of happiness while doing it. I’ve applied that, moving forward, and it’s worked. So in that sense, I have SNL to thank.”

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Louis-Dreyfus also referred to the sketch show as “its own university” and credits it for helping her gain contacts in the industry.

“Once you’ve been there, there is a kinship with everyone who’s been there and everyone who is there. Your eyes lock and you both know that you have this in common,” the Enough Said star recalled. “Tina [Fey] and Amy [Poehler] and I are friends. I met them both when I hosted, and we’ve been in touch since then. I like those guys. I feel a connection to them.”

The Emmy award–winning actress has previously addressed sexism in Hollywood.

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“There is sexism — I’m not denying its existence,” she told Rolling Stone in April 2014. “But I’m saying that I will deny its effort against me. I just pay it no nevermind and say, ‘Get out of my way.'”

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