The mostly straight white male hosts of late-night TV have struggled this past week over how to cover the sexual abuse allegations against friend and fellow comedian Louis C.K. But their conflicted feelings about Louis likely pale in comparison to those about Al Franken, who is both a widely respected Democratic senator and a legendary comedy writer for Saturday Night Live.
And that is especially true for those who followed in Franken’s footsteps at SNL, like Seth Meyers. Now that the progressive senator has been accused of sexual misconduct, the host of NBC’s Late Night decided to take the issue head-on Thursday night.
“The avalanche of sexual harassment allegations in the last few weeks have shown us that predatory behavior is everywhere, in virtually every aspect of society, in the news business, in entertainment and in politics,” Meyers said at the top of his “A Closer Look” segment.
And that includes within the halls of Congress, as we all learned this week. “I’d say Congress is full of dicks, but most of them look more like ball sacks,” Meyers joked. Today, he said, we found out definitively that “this is not a partisan problem” when the allegation against Franken emerged.
“That is horrifying,” Meyers said after showing his viewers the photo of Franken jokingly groping anchor Leeann Tweeden during a USO tour in 2006. “Honestly, who could blame women if they started wearing military gear whenever they are around men?” he asked.
After arguing that “everyone should be held accountable,” from Franken to Roy Moore to Bill Clinton to our current president, Donald Trump, Meyers spent the majority of the segment focusing on the Alabama GOP Senate candidate.
But by the end, he returned to his larger point: “This is a society-wide problem, born out of systemic misogyny and abuse of power,” Meyers said. “And both parties need to take it seriously, no matter who’s accused.”