David Letterman got a pass from audiences and advertisers when it was revealed through a blackmail scandal that he sometimes sleeps with female staffers.
That could change after new revelations from Nell Scovell, the second-ever female writer hired by the talk-show host.
In a Vanity Fair’s column, Nell recalls that during her time the “Letterman” workplace was an uncomfortable environment for women, leading her to quit one of the most coveted writing jobs in late-night TV.
“Without naming names or digging up decades-old dirt, let’s address the pertinent questions. Did Dave hit on me? No. Did he pay me enough extra attention that it was noted by another writer? Yes. Was I aware of rumours that Dave was having sexual relationships with female staffers? Yes. Was I aware that other high-level male employees were having sexual relationships with female staffers? Yes. Did these female staffers have access to information and wield power disproportionate to their job titles? Yes. Did that create a hostile work environment? Yes. Did I believe these female staffers were benefiting professionally from their personal relationships? Yes. Did that make me feel demeaned? Completely. Did I say anything at the time? Sadly, no.
Now she’s speaking up, but with hopes of bringing attention toward another troubling issue: the lack of female comedy writers at the top late-night shows. According to Scovell, there are exactly zero women writing for “Late Show with David Letterman,” “The Jay Leno Show” and “The Tonight Show with Conan O’Brien.”
Now, I don’t want a lawsuit. I don’t want compensation. I don’t want revenge. I don’t want Dave to go down (oh, grow up, people). I just want Dave to hire some qualified female writers and then treat them with respect. And that goes for Jay and Conan, too.
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