Sunday, November 8, 2009

Insincere Scoldings Just Not Good Enough

I know the whole David Letterman scandal played out a few weeks ago. You might be wondering, the media has moved on, why am I still harping on the topic?
Well, I'll tell ya. While I think it is unfortunate that Dave decided to engage in adulterous behavior, I do believe it's not my business. I don't think it affects his ability to make people laugh (although he stopped making me laugh a long time ago). I do think it's disturbing in the sense that he could have been sexually discriminating in his work place. I don't know what the real deal is because the women in this case haven't stepped forward to totally clear the air. All I know is, he slept with some of his female staff over the years. Kinda gross but, I always pegged him for a dirty old man.
What bothers me is the way that people downplay these incidents. Workplace discrimination is a real, serious matter. It's not just a concern from the 1950s. After the scandal broke, I read a press release on behalf of Dave's staff saying that a number of women at his production office have high-ranking roles. I have also read an interview with a staffer who claims the opposite to be true. I know comedy to be a total boys' club - you only have to watch the Emmys or Golden Globes to see that - so I can see how there could be a lot of barriers to female advancement in his company. That doesn't mean it's OK to trade sex for workplace advancement, however.
I happened upon this EW cover while searching for something else and I pretty much choked on my own spit. The magazine (that yes, I always wanted to work at) seems to be mocking the situation. Hahaha, Dave got caught with his pants down. Oh, no. Well, boys will be boys. That's what they are signally with their whimsical "Oh, Dave" headline. They're trying to make the situation humorous instead of understanding its weight. They're implying that he's a child who needs to be reined in rather that an adult who needs to take responsibility for his actions. Sure, he made the now-infamous announcement about his affair on his show. But, had he not, TMZ would have broken it the next day. He was just saving face. And I don't think he should be applauded for that.

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