Mad Men creator and executive producer Matthew Weiner pushed back against criticism of his show’s depiction of sexism in the workplace on Wednesday, telling Ora.TV host Larry King that the reactions tend to be divided across gender lines.
“The joke to me was that when the show went on the air, I had a lot of ad men come out of the woodwork and say, ‘It wasn’t like that,'” Weiner explained. “I’d say like, half of the ad men would come out and say, ‘It wasn’t like that. We didn’t drink that much. That’s baloney.’ And then 100 percent of the women who were there were like, ‘It was exactly like that.'”
Weiner said the pattern repeated itself following this past Sunday’s episode, where Peggy (Elizabeth Moss) and Joan (Christina Hendricks) are belittled by a group of male ad executives at another agency.
“As usual, a bunch of men get on and say, ‘This is outrageous. You went too far, it’s too unbelievable,'” Weiner said. “And all the women are [saying], ‘You’re nuts. It’s still like this. You have no idea.'”
Sunday’s episode, which marked the start of the series’ final seven-episode slate, featured the Peggy Lee song “Is That All There Is?” Weiner elaborated on the song’s resonance, particularly for Don Draper (Jon Hamm).
“Don’s material needs have been met, and he has created a wave of confusion behind him,” Weiner told King. “He has become the success that he pretended to be. So what else is there?”
Watch footage from King’s interview with Weiner, as posted by Ora.TV, below.