Stephen Colbert Has Our Back

by Olivia Harrison

Last week, Stephen Colbert wrote a sincere and hilarious essay for Glamour Magazine in which he pledged that his new CBS late night show will be for women.

With all the current changes happening in late night, many of us ladies have repeatedly brought up the point that women are clearly missing from the late night game. Even with people all over voicing our strong objection to this ridiculous gap in representation, late night shows continue to be dominated by male hosts. That’s why it was at least somewhat refreshing to hear one of the men of late night acknowledge this problem. And, true to form, Stephen Colbert shed light on a serious issue with the use of his incredible wit.

He wrote, “It has been pointed out to me that I, like other late-night TV hosts, am a man. And while I’m happy to have a job, I am surprised that the world of late-night TV lacks a female presence…While there are many talented female comedians out there, right now the world of late-night is a bit of a sausagefest.”

Colbert goes on to explore why the gender inequality issue persists in many different spheres and what can be done to change that. He readily admits to not having all the answers, but pledges to use his show as a step toward change.

At the end of the essay, he sums up his points: “I’m here for you, and that means I’m going to do my best to create a Late Show that not only appeals to women but also celebrates their voices. These days TV would have you believe that being a woman means sensually eating yogurt, looking for ways to feel confident on heavy days, and hunting for houses. But I’m going to make a show that truly respects women, because I know that there’s more than one way to be one.” 

I love Stephen Colbert, yet still my initial reaction to this pledge was kind of a “yeah? I’ll believe it when I see it” type deal. But this is where I had to remind myself that as feminists, if we want to accomplish change, we have to be willing to accept help from people who occupy the positions of power. If a white man recognizes injustice and wants to use his privilege to help tell our stories and work toward change so we can eventually tell our stories for ourselves, I’m willing to at least listen (especially if I’m going to get a laugh or two out of it). Come September 8th, I’ll surely be watching CBS to see if Colbert makes good on that promise, and I’m hopeful that other men will follow his lead.  

Via Glamour

Images via imgur and Paste Magazine


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