Pamela Adlon Talks Clearing Dirty Words On FX’s ‘Better Things’ (Or Not) With New Disney Regime – TCA

Pamela Adlon
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FX’s afternoon session for season 4 began of Better Things began with a bang showing creator/star Pamela Adlon in a fight with her daughter Max played by Mikey Madison, calling her the C-word.

The fight escalates with Max calling her mother the derogatory curse, and then the two cooling whereby the latter finally confesses to being one. The scene appears in episode 4 of season 4.

“I haven’t had the conversation with S&P yet,” said Adlon (meaning FX’s standards and practices). And by the way, let’s remember who the new parent company is of FX.

“Things can escalate when you’re living in the same house,” said Adlon about the mother-daughter fight, “and the word is probably the lowest word you could use for a woman. And it’s the mom saying it to the daughter, and then the daughter claps back ‘No’, then it loses its meaning, and she flips it and says ‘I’m really that word, mom. It’s just this big moment for these women, it’s diffusion. It’s a moment to know that you can survive this. When you’re in a family , you can say all this stuff to each other,” said Adlon about capturing real-life.

“I don’t think (the word) is gratuitous, it’s important and a massively layered (scene),” explained Adlon.

“I have to just go for it,” Adlon said about writing without filters.

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“There was sensitivity about playing this clip here and I understood that. I thought, it would be really a great thing,” said Adlon, “it’s a jawdropping scene with all sorts of layers. If I had tried to censor it before I wrote it even, then it would never have existed.”

On stage, Adlon told reporters that she didn’t fear censoring of her show now that FX is under new parent Disney. “No change for me; I’ve been working for Disney for years,” said the creator/actress who has been a voice over on such Disney series as Phineas and Ferb. What excites her the most now that FX is under Disney is the expanding audience in the new FX on Hulu deal. She griped on stage how she can’t even find Better Things in a Delta Airlines video menu.

Adlon offstage said that she has always had “incredible” support from FX in regards to creative freedom, but “now there are different factors, now we have a new daddy and mommy. We have a blended family.”

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