We weren’t always ready for Margaret Cho.
Sixteen years ago, Cho was using her comedy to start many of the conversations we are having today, by talking about diversity, representation, and the way we treat women. But her sharp and prescient commentary was relegated to the sidelines of pop culture — it was something you had to seek out.
A survey of the television and comedy landscape today yields plenty of sterling success stories — stories that are rooted in what Cho was fighting for. Consider, for instance, TV series like Fresh Off the Boat and Black-ish, or, well, anything that Amy Schumer or Shonda Rhimes touches. They all propagate messages of diversity, representation, and feminism that are as prominent in pop culture as they’ve ever been. Cho helped pave the way for that to happen.
“We really needed that kind of comedy at the time,” Cho told Vox. “We just didn’t have the language yet. Now we do, and it’s really a great time for minorities and women in comedy. We have people that are brilliant and talking about feminism, race, and equality in an important, exciting way.”