American stand-up comedians and television show hosts have torn into Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein following reports alleging that he sexually harassed and raped women over several years.
Trevor Noah, host of The Daily Show on Comedy Central, pointed out that sexual harassment against women at the workplace “isn’t a Hollywood problem, this is a man problem”. Alluding to the Mexico border wall that US President Donald Trump promised to build, Noah said, “The only place where we should be building a wall is around Harvey Weinstein.”
The New York Times report detailing accounts of sexual harassment by Weinstein features actor Ashley Judd, who alleged that the producer asked her to watch him take a shower. “I guess it’s a good thing that Harvey Weinstein likes people watching him take a shower, because there is a lot of that in prison,” Noah remarked.
Seth Meyers drew parallels between Weinstein and Donald Trump, who had been accused of sexual harassment by at least 12 women in 2016, adding that “the only reason anyone should watch Harvey Weinstein shower is to confirm that it actually happened”.
In Full Frontal with Samantha Bee, the host pointed out that members of the Republican Party were quick to condemn Weinstein, who was a frequent donor to Democratic causes. “Yes, Harvey Weinstein is exactly as bad as Trump,” Bee said. “I demand that we impeach him instantly.”
John Oliver too did not pull punches on his HBO show Last Week Tonight, speaking about the silence of the people surrounding the producer. Oliver had a stinging rebuttal to fashion designer Donna Karan’s initial comments after the reports emerged, which seemed to place blame on the way women dress. “One, that is absolutely appalling and two, how would Donna Karan know how women are dressing right now?” Oliver said. “It’s not 1993.”
Although television host Stephen Colbert was criticised for not addressing the issue immediately after the reports against Weinstein surfaced, he eventually called the producer a “bad person”. Referring to Weinstein’s removal from his production house The Weinstein Company, Colbert suggested that the studio should rename itself with “something more positive, like Asbestos Child Slappers, Inc”.
Saturday Night Live, which airs on NBC, also alluded to the allegations with a few pointed barbs. Host Colin Jost said, “Apple announced it will add hundreds of new emojis to its iOS system including a person at a spa, a vomiting face and a shushing finger, finally giving emoji fans the ability to describe what it was like to work for Harvey Weinstein.”