Whether you love Kathy Griffin or hate her, you can’t deny that one of the most refreshing things about her is her absolute candor about the ups and downs of her career. It certainly ain’t always glamourous, and she’s definitely faced her fair share of rejection, but she takes it all in stride with a great amount of humour and just keeps trudging forward. Not only that, but she’s stayed down-to-earth and still regards the whole world of celebrity with as much amazement and bewilderment as we all do.
All of that is exactly why I believe Kathy when she said she was turned away from even being in the running for Craig Ferguson’s late night chat show spot just because she’s a woman. Kathy approached CBS about the show and was told that they’re not actually looking for women, and that was pretty much that.
From The Poughkeepsie Journal:
“I was interested in the Ferguson spot long before it was announced because I had a feeling things might shift,” said a candid Griffin. “My joke phrase is, ‘I can start Monday.’”
The response of one executive to her query: “They’re not considering females at this time,” she recounted.
“You realize that’s illegal to say in a business meeting?” was Griffin’s comeback.
When she told another industry exec that the absence of female hosts was “embarrassing” and that women who represent half the population should hold half of such jobs, he had a ready answer: “Well, you have ‘The Talk.’”
That show, of course, is in daytime and has five co-hosts, not one powerful female comedian owning the nighttime stage.
The effect, even for a resilient professional like Griffin, is dispiriting.
“I walk into the (meeting) room thinking, ‘I’ll give it a shot.’ I leave the room thinking, ‘I never had a chance,’” she said.
For the record, it’s UK actor James Corden who got the post, and for those of you who are saying that Kathy got turned away not because of her gender but because she’s not all that funny, neither is he. And neither was Jay Leno, and his ass was on TV for decades. Letterman isn’t even that funny, but because he’s a man, he’s apparently more worthy of the job? Nah, I don’t think so. It wouldn’t be so bad if they hired a man of colour, but considering that’s likely not on the cards either, I think it’s clear that to the big networks, TV is a straight white man’s game.