Tina Fey Calls Out Letterman For Lack Of Female Writers
Tina Fey sat across from David Letterman on Friday for his latest endeavor–his Netflix talk show, My Next Guest Needs No Introduction. During the conversation, the longtime late night host apologized for not hiring more female writers when he was host of The Late Show.
Letterman admitted his ignorance on the matter, saying, “When I had a television show, people would always say to me — I would do an interview with something somewhere — and they would say, ‘Well why don’t you have women writers?’ and the best I could come up with was, ‘I don’t know.'”
“I didn’t know why there weren’t women writers… There was no policy against women writers…I always thought, well, geez, if I was a woman I don’t know if I would want to write on my nickel-and-dime, dog-and-pony show anyway because we’re on at 12:30,” he continued.
Tina Fey countered quickly, saying, “Yeah, we did want to write on it, though.” After this, Letterman apologized, admitting, “But that is my ignorance, and I feel bad for that, and it’s changing, has changed.”
The pair also discussed Saturday Night Live, with Fey adding that the system for the show is “actually very fair.” She explained, “There’s this huge table read in the middle of the week where everyone writes their ideas on Tuesday night, and then Wednesday they get around the table and read like 40 or 50 sketches. And so you always get to write whatever you want, and you always pretty much always get your shot to perform it at that table read. And if it plays, it will go, most likely.”
She elaborated, saying that as more women worked on the show, they would laugh at jokes that men might not have laughed at, which resulted in more jokes by women getting chosen for the show. Fey insisted that sometimes men not choosing jokes by women isn’t purposeful or institutional, but it does help if there’s someone in the room who gets the joke. She says, “I feel like the more diverse the room [is] in every way, [the] smoother [the] sailing.”
Tina Fey will be hosting the finale of SNL on May 19, with musical guest Nicki Minaj.