Samantha Bee On Diversity: "Just Hire People"
"Find some diverse people and actually give them jobs."
Comedian Samantha Bee has graced our television screens on The Daily Show for years now, but only recently has she gotten a shot at her own show. Unfortunately, like the music industry, comedy is often seen as a boys club, hostile to female (and non-white) talent. This is something which Full Frontal with Samantha Bee hopes to tackle head on. How so? A good way to start is with a diverse staff.
According to a New York profile, the program's writing room is made up of “50% female and 30% nonwhite" employees. This was a conscious decision made by Bee and fellow show runner Jo Miller. In fact, Bee has spoken openly about the obvious values and merits of diversity before, saying the following in a recent interview with Ana Gasteyer:
"In the entertainment industry in particular, there are seminars and … work groups about creating diversity when, really, the fucking thing you have to do is just hire people. It’s not really the most complicated transaction. Find some diverse people and actually give them jobs."
Bee is taking her diversity hiring one step further. According to Jezebel: "Full Frontal is also in the planning stages of creating a mentorship program for aspiring writers who are in typically underrepresented demographics and backgrounds ... Bee said in an earlier profile that the program will be aimed at 'pockets of people who don’t formally have access to this world, who want to be in this world, who have no idea how to get there.'"
It isn't hard to guess that the show's quality will be greatly improved by the different experiences brought to the writing table by having more perspectives represented than those of (usually straight, usually white) men. Meanwhile, most of Late Night TV still looks like this.