Samantha Bee On How To Hire a Diverse Staff: 'The Fucking Thing You Have To Do Is Just Hire People'

Illustration for article titled Samantha Bee On How To Hire a Diverse Staff: The Fucking Thing You Have To Do Is Just Hire People

It came as little surprise that Samantha Bee’s new show, Full Frontal with Samantha Bee, has one of the most diverse writers rooms in television. A recent New York profile of Bee revealed that she and showrunner Jo Miller cast a wider hiring net for the specific purpose of finding diverse talent; the result is a writing staff that’s “50% female and 30% nonwhite.”

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Vulture reports that during a recent interview with Saturday Night Live alum, Ana Gasteyer, Bee offered a fuller explanation of how she managed to do what no other show in late night seems to be capable of doing:

In the entertainment industry in particular, there are seminars and … work groups about creating diversity when, really, the fucking thing you have to do is just hire people. It’s not really the most complicated transaction. Find some diverse people and actually give them jobs.

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Full Frontal is also in the planning stages of creating a mentorship program for aspiring writers who are in typically underrepresented demographics and backgrounds (one of Bee’s writers previously worked at the Maryland DMV). Bee said in an earlier profile that the program will be aimed at “pockets of people who don’t formally have access to this world, who want to be in this world, who have no idea how to get there.”

Image via AP.

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DISCUSSION

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AllieCat demands hats on cats-is probable weirdo

You know I’m torn on this! As a woman and person of color it’s great for ME. I mean how nice will it be to just be handed a high paying writers gig without doing any work at all or having any talent, you know? I could call up a few late night shows and have a job tomorrow, no resume or writing samples required!

But at the same time, I feel bad that white men are being so discriminated against and will get so few advantages. Even though they’re so very clearly innately harder working, funnier, and less criminal-y. I mean why should they have to look extra hard to find diverse writers when there are plenty of white writers to choose from? If POC were more talented and worked harder.... wouldn’t they rise to the top? You know the way white cream rises and the brown coffee sits on the bottom. Oops, I guess that wasn’t the best example. But you know what I mean!

As a restaurant boss who was withholding my paychecks for no reason once said to me, “I know you’re Puerto Rican, Alliecat, so I mean no offense, but Puerto Ricans are just the laziest, laziest people. Your men just sleep in their car all day. And then they complain?”

It was sage advice. Why should show runners have to knock on the window of every 1998 Ford Taurus station wagon to see if there’s ONE Puerto Rican who is literate and will wake up long enough to write down some mediocre jokes? Why should they get extra chances?

Just food for thought guys. Do we promote the lazy and weak just to be “fair” or “sane” or “good”. Or do we just follow our hearts and hire Adam Sandler to be in the writer’s room creating real art?

Hard to say. Hard to say.