Not to put too much pressure on you, Samantha Bee, but if your new late night comedy talk show, Full Frontal With Samantha Bee is not the biggest hit in the history of late night talk shows, the social justice movement as we know it may collapse in on itself. Okay, maybe that’s going a tad overboard, I’ll dial that back just a bit. But to the audience, this show, which premieres tonight at 10:30 on TBS, actually might be a pretty big deal. Anyone who remembers the big dustup that was the Vanity Fair cover last fall knows what I’m talking about.
At the time, Bee tweeted out a picture that was considered to be the best response to the photo:
What actually is the best response, though, is to have recognized that much of the issue with the late night diversity problem extends far beyond just the host, and into the writers room. Bee’s show has gotten some notoriety already ahead of its premiere tonight with the fact that her writing staff is 50 percent female, and 30 percent non-white. On the topic of representation among her staff, Bee made it clear it had been a priority for her and Full Frontal executive producer Jo Miller.
“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.”
So while maybe the fate of the world’s marginalized voices don’t rest entirely on the success or failure of a basic cable comedy talk show hosted by a white lady, a hit show making representation its priority could send a strong message to the talk show world as a whole that the times they are a-changin’. You can be part of the revolution and all you have to do is watch a half hour of TV.