Simon Bird denies The Inbetweeners was ‘poster boy’ for misogynist comedy

‘It’s a totally valid question whether the show would be made now,’ actor said

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Simon Bird has denied that The Inbetweeners was misogynist, while adding that the show would be very different if it were made today.

The Channel 4 sitcom revolved around a group of hapless teenage boys, played by Bird, Joe Thomas, James Buckley and Blake Harrison. It regularly used slang terms in dialogue when referring to female characters and female genitalia.

“I don’t think I was misogynist or a poster boy for that sort of comedy,” Bird told The Sunday Times. “But I do think we were lucky to have a get-out-of-jail-free card in the fact that they were stupid boys.”

He continued: “It’s a totally valid question whether the show would be made now. Or if it was set now, whether teenagers’ attitudes and language have changed. I hope so.”

Bird also said that he disliked the term “political correctness”, but added that modern comedy is more “sympathetic and empathetic” than it used to be.

“There’s a lot of amazing comedy being made that doesn’t rely on cruel, undermining humour,” he said. “It’s definitely still possible to be funny.”

While the Inbetweeners cast reunited for a heavily criticised unscripted special in 2019, Bird said that a scripted reunion would be “problematic” as the characters could no longer get away with their trademark behaviour as adults.

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