Sexual harassers like Harvey Weinstein are everywhere, in every industry. It’s time to stop tolerating them, “Full Frontal” host Samantha Bee says.
“I can’t even remember how old I was when the first gentleman masturbated in front of me without my — that I didn’t ask for,” Bee said on the latest episode of Recode Media with Peter Kafka. “It’s such a typical story, and I do find it fascinating. There are so many great men in my life who just have no idea of the pervasiveness of this, just how familiar this is to every woman.”
Speaking with Kafka in front of a live audience in New York City, Bee said it’s worth remembering that many people looked the other way for all of Harvey Weinstein’s worst habits — not just predatory sexual behavior. Treating employees poorly used to be considered just something a leader did, but now it makes you a “shit person,” she said.
“He was a bully and a menace and a generally-accepted-awful-human-being who also made movies that people liked,” Bee said. “I mean, I’m a horrible bully at work, but that’s different. That’s like comedy-bullying, and that’s fun.”
On the new podcast, Bee also talked about the fact that all but one of Amazon’s 18 top executives are men — a stat that has gained in significance since the company’s studio head Roy Price resigned after allegations of sexual harassment. According to the New York Times, CEO Jeff Bezos told employees that the reason for this homogeneity is that executives don’t leave the company very frequently.
“That sounds like such fucking horseshit to me, it doesn’t make sense to me,” Bee said. “I don’t work in that world, so maybe I don’t know. But it sounds like a bunch of crap.”
From the beginning of “Full Frontal,” Bee and her team have made a concerted effort to recruit a more diverse staff than the white-guy-from-Harvard stereotype that has historically been overrepresented in TV comedy. She acknowledged that although her show hasn’t “solved” the issue, taking diversity seriously is a good first step.
“It has to be on your mind all the time, and not in a lip-service way,” Bee said. “Then you have to fuckin’ hire someone! You have to hire people who are diverse. You can’t just accept résumés, sometimes you have to take a chance on someone.”
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This article originally appeared on Recode.net.