Life, Love, and Dirty Diapers

Where are the Female Writers in Late Night TV?

on September 6, 2011

Okay, so sometimes I talk about very serious subjects on my blog. You know rape, abortion, child soldiers, things of that nature. But sometimes there are other important women’s issues that need to be talked about too.

For example, where are all the Female Writers in Late Night TV?

What got me thinking was this chart that I saw:

Look at this chart. Even the female host has only half a staff of women. One (Bill Maher) has no women writers. And two hosts only have women writers who are related to them. This should be such a shocking picture.

And then I read that ‘The Late Show’ made history by hiring a second woman. And this was mere months ago. History. When you think of things that make history, should ‘The Late Show’ hiring a second woman make history in this day and age? Or should they have hired a second (or a third or a fourth etc) woman writer a long time ago?

That got me to try and figure out why this is. Some people just say it’s because there are not women out there looking for these jobs. “It’s harder; there are less women looking for work. It’s easier to have an all-white male writing staff,” is one quote from Dan Harmon on the matter. Are there really less women looking for work? I’m not sure. But it would seem that Laurie Kilmartin (the only female writer on Conan)would agree with him when she says, “This is a huge generalization, but I think guys get on stage to get laid, and women get on stage to get heard. For female comics, it’s such a personal thing. I hardly know any female stand-ups who talk about generic stuff: It’s always really what happened to you. It is sort of a big switch to go from that to writing for someone else. And I think that that stops a lot of female comics from making that jump over.” Others argue that it’s just too much of a boy’s house – crude and rude and lewd – and that limits women.

To be honest, I don’t know why there aren’t more women writers in late night tv. It’s probably not a simple answer. Are there more male comics? Possibly, but is that just because women have very few women role models to look up to in this area. Something should be done, because there obviously are funny women, the question is just, where are they?


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