Meghan McCain Boycotts Late Night TV For Its Shameful Lack Of Female Hosts

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In case you haven’t noticed, American late night TV has a major problem: there are no women. After comedian Chelsea Handler’s long-running cable talk show ‘Chelsea Lately’ ended in August, we are officially back at zero (from one, which in itself was still utterly shameful).

CBS’ ‘The Late Late Show’ host Craig Ferguson will also be leaving his post as host of the popular show at the end of 2014, but if anyone thought that might be an opportunity for a female to take up the mantle, nope! Another Brit, James Corden, will be taking his place.

Recently, Kathy Griffin (who was rumored and widely talked about being the replacement) spoke up about the announcement and had some choice words to say. Note: even outgoing host Craig Ferguson was hopeful for a female host to replacement, coz you, know, some people actually do advocate progress, just not network executives it seems.

Kathy shared her experience of speaking with a CBS executive about the future host of ‘The Late Late Show’.

“I was interested in the Ferguson spot long before it was announced because I had a feeling things might shift,” she told AP. “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 by 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.'”

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“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.

It’s pathetic that ‘The Talk’ is even given as an answer, as it is clearly a daytime talk show. The hard truth is that currently there are NO female-driven talk shows past 5pm on American television, so mentioning Ellen Degeneres, Queen Latifah, The View, The Talk, The Real and any other show lead by women is just not going to cut it.

65% of Chelsea Handler’s audience was women, the largest percentage of females in any late night audience. Now where will they all go? Well done TV executives, you just lost out on a huge chunk of potentially new loyal viewers, and the chance to compete in a relatively untapped market.

“We could be looking at 40 or 50 years until a woman is hosting a network late-night talker,” Kathy continued. “Here’s the deal: We’re (screwed).”

So what’s the solution? In an episode of millennial talk show ‘Take Part Live’ hosts Meghan McCain and Jacob Soboroff chatted with guest Amanda De Cadenet about this ridiculously archaic issue and what they were going to do in protest.

British personality Amanda is well-known for her show ‘The Conversation’ and her brand is very much female empowerment. She recently had a short-lived late night talk show on the Lifetime network called ‘Undone’ during August, where she talked about trending women’s issues, interviewed guests and firmly placed female news at the top of the agenda in a first for American late night TV.

During the show’s 4 week run she explained she wasn’t exactly excited that she was for a minute the only female on late night TV.

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“It’s actually really sad. I wish I could say ‘this is amazing’, but we’re in 2014. The fact that there is no other woman hosting her own show…on either network or cable is appalling. I think there is room for so many women to have their voice…I just want to be able to pave the way for other women to have their space,” she said, and we couldn’t agree more! All those years of Chelsea proving to networks how popular a woman hosting a talk show can be and now we are back at zero? It IS appalling!

Amanda said there is a demand for women to be heard because we have valuable things to say. Meghan responds by saying she doesn’t think there are enough women in media in general, and that is the root of the problem.

“At what point is a network going to listen to their audience?” cries Amanda. She points out that having only white male hosts on late night TV means the same perspective over and over again, and that there should be more room for more female and minority voices. Whenever women get lumped in in the “minority” category it kinda makes us a little angry. For starters, women in general are NOT a minority, in America alone they make up 51% of the population, and the figure is not that different worldwide. Perhaps this is part of the problem, that executives aren’t seeing women as a valuable and huge part of a viewing audience. Well it’s their loss, because larger audience numbers equal larger dollar signs, don’t they?

Meghan had probably the most appropriate response to this issue:

“I’m not going to watch [late night TV] anymore. I’m going to watch Chelsea Handler on Netflix. I’m not going to do it anymore, I don’t find it entertaining, I find it a total vacuum, I’m just not going to support it anymore.”

Whatever happens next, we can’t stop speaking up about this issue. Making more people aware of the imbalance has to eventually reach the currently-deaf ears of TV executives who are proving time and time again that the female audience doesn’t matter to them. They are afraid men won’t want to watch a women on TV. Well if women have no problem being loyal to the male hosts, it’s time they stop with the excuses and recognize how they are failing society.

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