A good rundown from The Onion's AV club
"Women of The Daily Show" respond to accusations that show is sexist
On June 23, deliciously feminist-y site Jezebel posted an article titled “The Daily Show’s Woman Problem” that accused the Jon Stewart-helmed Comedy Central program of being “a boys' club where women's contributions are often ignored and dismissed.” Backing up the author’s claims were testimonies from former staffers who said that the show’s creative environment marginalized them with its “too cool for school” attitude, which left no room for womanish “emotional vulnerability.” The author then went on to suggest (seemingly based entirely on a bitter quote from a rejected “female comedian who has auditioned multiple times”) that the recent hiring of G4’s Olivia Munn was motivated at least partially by her looks. Even more damning: The article’s repeating of rumors about Jon Stewart, whom one anonymous “former executive” says “runs The Daily Show with joyless rage,”...
You can find the open letter from the women of 'The Daily Show' here - Women of The Daily Show Speak
Comedy aficionado Sharilyn Johnson of Third-Beat.com offers her perspective on the controversy:
We’re here! We’re peers! Get used to it!
Look, Jezebel is Jezebel and we’re smart enough to read between the lines. Former employees might be bitter, the story might have been written to fit a narrative, and so on. We understand those tricks — we watch your show, remember?
But the ladies’ hyper-defensiveness does nothing to create transparency or shed light on the complicated grey area where sexism usually lives...
This whole idea of how-dare-we think such things about their precious workplace? Really leaves a bad taste in my mouth. A bad, orchestrated, Comedy Central PR department taste in my mouth.
The Third-Beat offers some great resources on the theme of women and 'late night' via its panel recaps. Whilst the example below is exclusively on the topic of women, you will find that the issue is often visited in panel discussions amongst late night comedy staff due to the obviously disproportionate representation of women.
Women & Late Night TV: A Paley Panel Pointform
Successful late-night comedy writers with vaginas
Ann Cohen (Best Week Ever)
Jill Goodwin (The Late Show with David Letterman)
Hallie Haglund (The Daily Show with Jon Stewart)
Morgan Murphy (Late Night with Jimmy Fallon)
Meredith Scardino (The Colbert Report)
Moderated by Allison Silverman (The Colbert Report, The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, Late Night With Conan O’Brien)
Paley Center for Media, New York
May 13, 2010