Melissa Rivers wants her late mother, comedian Joan Rivers, recognised as an inspiration behind Amazon’s hit series The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel.
The star died in 2014 aged 81, and Melissa insists her mother’s life mirrors that of the lead character Miriam ‘Midge’ Maisel, who swaps being a housewife for a stand-up comic in the 1950s.
“Everybody’s saying, ‘Oh, it’s Joan, it’s Joan, it’s Joan, it’s Joan’ and yet I never hear from the people that make it or the actors,” Melissa said during an appearance on the Behind the Velvet Rope with David Yontef podcast.
While she has never seen an episode of the show, Melissa insists the character, played by Rachel Brosnahan, is “clearly a compilation” of the female comedians of that era, including her mother, who shot to fame in 1965 as a guest on The Tonight Show.
“Not even saying like, it’s completely her, but to say she was one of our inspirations,” she continued. “And because of that, I felt so violated in a weird way… Not even saying like, it’s completely her, but to say she was one of our inspirations.”
And although Melissa says she isn’t interested in taking any legal action, she would like an acknowledgment from the show’s bosses.
“I would have no legal grounds, not one, but on a human level it still hurts me,” she explained. “I want to be happy that they win and I can’t be. And I could be completely wrong.
“People could say, ‘You know, you’re crazy. You’re being stupid.’ But to me, like I said, all they ever had to do was reach out and acknowledge,” she continued. “All I ever wanted was a note, maybe a thank you in one of the acceptance speeches after all these years.”