How Samantha Bee Crashed the Late-Night Boys' Club
over 1 year ago
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"Bee took the same approach to hiring writers, creating a blind application process that didn't favor people who'd already had success. (It spelled out, for example, how scripts should look when submitted, leveling the playing field for the uninitiated.) Lo and behold, she ended up with a writers' room that looked kind of like America: 50 percent female; 30 percent nonwhite. One of her hires had been working at the Maryland Department of Motor Vehicles. "We don't feel like we solved the diversity problem. We didn't fix racism, quite," Bee jokes. "I mean, we almost did. We'll see how things pan out. I'm feeling really good about it." Anyway, the strategy worked. "I have literally filled my office with people who have been underestimated their entire careers. To a person, we almost all fit into that category. It is so joyful to collect a group of people who nobody has ever thought could grasp the reins of something and fucking go for it." "
""People love to hate-watch, and we're cool with that," Bee had told me. "The more the merrier. There's one news organization that transcribes our show every time it airs. It's a little messed up with spelling errors and a lot of all-caps and stage directions of me that are unflattering, but it's still a transcript, and that's a great service for us. That goes in our archives." After her staff set up 1-844-4-TROLLZ — "Hello, you have reached the Samantha Bee rape-threat line. No one is here to take your call, but your offer of nonconsensual sex is important to us" — a menacing voicemail was featured in a Full Frontal online video, to cheers and popped champagne. "
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