The 82-year-old icon spoke to People magazine about how tough it was as a woman when she got her big break in the 1960s.
"If I spoke up or did what Jackie Gleason did [in the 1960's]...men could get away with it. But in my era, I would have been labeled a b----," she told the magazine.
But the legend said she figured out a way to be irreverent during a time of inequality.
"Instead of saying, 'Guys this stinks we've got to fix it,' I would say, 'I am not doing this right, can you help me out here?'" she explained.
Burnett also said she was inspired by another female comedy icon, Lucille Ball.