Late-Night Comedy Shows Avoid Harvey Weinstein Allegations… for Now
“Experts say it’s unlikely that any self-respecting network will ever hire him.” – Jimmy Fallon
“I mean, it is nice to know that while liberals and conservatives disagree on a lot of things, the one thing they can see eye-to-eye on is that this guy is unf*ckable.” – Trevor Noah
“…the pervert on the bus.” – Seth Meyers
That’s how late-night’s television hosts addressed the sexual-harassment allegations against Fox News anchor Bill O’Reilly, the sexual-harassment allegations against Fox News chief Roger Ailes, and Donald Trump’s notorious Access Hollywood tape, respectively.
And, while the choir of liberal-leaning late-night hosts has gleefully teed off on accused sexual predators of the conservative persuasion, on Thursday night, they chose to steer clear of the sexual-harassment/assault allegations against one of their own: Hollywood power-liberal Harvey Weinstein.
Now, granted, The New York Times’ eye-opening Weinstein exposé, alleging “decades of sexual-harassment allegations”—including “at least eight settlements with women”—dropped at around 2 p.m. ET Thursday, giving late-night hosts only a few hours to prepare material on the story (late-night shows typically tape between 4:30 p.m. and 6 p.m. ET), although those same shows have regularly provided same-day jokes on Trump news that’s broken well after 2 p.m.
Jimmy Kimmel, Jimmy Fallon, Seth Meyers, James Corden, and Stephen Colbert all seemingly passed on the Weinstein news, both in their monologues and interviews with movie-star guests—Corden and Fallon have appeared in Weinstein films—with The Daily Show’s Trevor Noah proving the only one to mention Weinstein, albeit very fleetingly. “Look, Harvey Weinstein!” cracked Noah in response to a clip of Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton dismissing a female reporter in sexist fashion.
If late-night comedians are to continue to assume the role of moral arbiter, then they should be open to criticizing creeps on both sides of the political divide—including those in their industry.
Hopefully, they’ll do better on Friday—or in the near future.