Ex-Staffer: Letterman Environment 'Demeaning'

But not just because of sexual politics: It's time to hire female writers
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 27, 2009 9:50 AM CDT
In this Sept. 18, 2005 file photo Late night talk show host David Letterman makes a surprise appearance at the Primetime Emmy Awards in Los Angeles.   (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill, File)
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(Newser) – Nell Scovell walked away from her dream job on Late Night with David Letterman thanks to the "hostile work environment" created by high-level male staffers having sex with their female employees. She writes about her experience in Vanity Fair—not to name names, but to point out the underlying problem with all the major late night shows: "Out of the 50 or so comedy writers working on these programs, exactly zero are women. It would be funny if it weren’t true."

Scovell recounts her experience, but ultimately wants to "pivot the discussion away from the bedroom and toward the writers’ room." Yes, the sexual politics of Late Night made her feel demeaned. But, she writes, "I don’t want a lawsuit. I don’t want compensation. I don’t want revenge. I don’t want Dave to go down. I just want Dave to hire some qualified female writers and then treat them with respect. And that goes for Jay and Conan, too."