Empowerment

Lisa Hanawalt's Netflix Series 'Tuca & Bertie' Tackles Women Friendships And Sexism

This new Netflix show is an unfiltered ode to adult women friendships.

“Tuca & Bertie” follows two women birds in their 30s, voiced by Tiffany Haddish and Ali Wong.

“Female friendship kind of fills this space that a romantic relationship with a partner just never will,” the show’s creator and showrunner Lisa Hanawalt explained. “Like, there’s certain things that my partner can’t really do for me.”

The show portrays modern situations, from moving in with a partner to serious problems like sexual harassment in the workplace.
“I really just wanted to write about stories from my own life. And in my own life, I’ve experienced a lot of sexual harassment. I’ve experienced a lot of misogyny,” explained Hanawalt.

Hanawalt works as a production designer and producer of the Netflix series “BoJack Horseman,” she also says her experiences in the male-dominated animation industry inspired some of the issues and storylines in “Tuca & Bertie.” But she’s happy that she was able to bring on a lot more women for her own project.

Hanawalt says animal characters can evoke human emotions and animation can help audiences grapple with darker themes.
“I think using animals helps to make the stories feel more universal,” she said. “In some ways, I think that birds are a lot like people, but like, very immature, selfish, greedy people where all the emotions are on the surface.”