Vanity Fair found itself in a maelstrom of controversy when it released a feature from its upcoming October issue on late-night television. The leading photo of all the existing late-night hosts is slick, and there are some very good suits in there, but it also makes one fact unavoidable:
Seriously, bros: Where are the women?
To be fair to Vanity Fair, this photograph is an accurate representation of today's late-night landscape. Between Jimmy Fallon, Jimmy Kimmel, Conan O'Brien, Bill Maher, Trevor Noah, Stephen Colbert, Larry Wilmore, James Corden, and Seth Meyers, the current late-night talk show hosts are entirely male, largely white, and plagued by supernaturally tall hair.
Also, as Vanity Fair was quick to point out once the Twitter heat started kicking up, David Kamp's article does explicitly address the lack of women:
What’s conspicuously missing from late-night, still, is women. How gobsmackingly insane is it that no TV network has had the common sense—and that’s all we’re talking about in 2015, not courage, bravery, or even decency—to hand over the reins of an existing late-night comedy program to a female person?
But much of the heat Vanity Fair has gotten stems from the fact that this all-male photograph sits right underneath a jarring headline: "Why Late-Night Television Is Better Than Ever." Whether or not it's true, the optics are astonishingly bad.
Former Daily Show correspondent and future late-night host Samantha Bee suggested a slight but powerful moderation:
Samantha Bee's late-night show, Full Frontal, premieres on TBS in January 2016.