It's not often that we say these words, but WTF Vanity Fair?
The preeminent culture mag decided to do a story on the new landscape of late-night television, on the heels of Stephen Colbert's Late Show debut and Trevor Noah's upcoming Daily Show takeover at the end of the month. Which is good. Great even! A lot is happening in late-night right now and the collective programming is taking a complete 180 from what America has been used to for the last few decades. It's an interesting topic and one that we were looking forward to reading.
Until we saw the tweet. Yes, the tweet. And the headline of the story, for that matter, but it was the Twitter announcement that really grabbed our attention.
VF posted the caption "We talked to all the titans of late-night television, and found out why it's better than ever," alongside a staged photograph of all of the current late-night hosts that was shot for the accompanying article. Just for recap purposes, that would be the following: Stephen Colbert, Conan O'Brien, Trevor Noah, James Corden, Jimmy Kimmel, John Oliver, Seth Meyers, Larry Wilmore, Jimmy Fallon and Bill Maher.
Now let's see, what would be missing here? Oh, that's right, women. Women! Vanity Fair titled an article "Why Late-Night Television Is Better Than Ever," and included no women! And they tweeted the same message, alongside a picture of 10 men and zero women! Avid feminists or not (and, for argument's sake, Vanity Fair should be avid feminists), that is just wrong.
For fairness purposes, it's worth looking at the fine print. First, these are all admittedly terrific men. They put out great television content and seem to be actually great people as far as the public can tell. And our first instinct was to assume that this story and photoshoot was just a large slip of the mind for VF; they wanted to put out a piece on the future of late-night TV and kind of forgot that the entertainment industry has all but pushed out every female comedian from the time slot. But they actually include a paragraph in the accompanying story about the fact that there are no women hosts, and still chose to deem this period of gender biased history "better than ever."
Sure it was kind of a nice paragraph that gave a (teeny tiny) shoutout to Samantha Bee, Chelsea Handler and Amy Schumer and seemed to lament the fact that the current class of late-night hosts looks nothing like the rest of America. But it was a kind-of-nice paragraph relegated to an afterthought at the end of the story, that chose to advertise itself with a glaringly offensive boys-club class picture—with scotch glasses, no less. They may as well have been smoking cigars and standing under a sign that reads "No Women Allowed."
But alas, there is a silver lining to all of this. It has allowed the fabulous Samantha Bee to swoop in and publish possibly the best and most telling tweet on the issue...ever. We'll let it speak for itself.
So while society may have lost this round, at least it's a win for Samantha Bee. Is it January yet?