This is almost as surprising to me as “Roseanne” getting canceled.
Sam Bee apologizes, via TBS: “I would like to sincerely apologize to Ivanka Trump and to my viewers for using an expletive on my show to describe her last night. It was inappropriate and inexcusable. I crossed a line, and I deeply regret it.”
— Andrew Kirell (@AndrewKirell) May 31, 2018
What the hell did TBS say to her to force that out of her? I would have bet cash money that Bee was ready to double down after Sarah Huckabee Sanders attacked her in a statement earlier this afternoon:
“The language used by Samantha Bee last night is vile and vicious. The collective silence by the left and its media allies is appalling,” Sanders told TheWrap.
“Her disgusting comments and show are not fit for broadcast, and executives at Time Warner and TBS must demonstrate that such explicit profanity about female members of this administration will not be condoned on its network.”
Once I read that, I figured It Was On and that Bee would have no choice but to escalate. She’s not really sorry, I would have said, and even if she were she surely wouldn’t cede an inch of moral high ground to the Trumps by acknowledging that she wronged them, however negligibly. The first rule of being a left-wing warrior-comic is to never admit the Bad People have a point, and Bee is probably the most conspicuous self-styled warrior of the late-night bunch. They all hate Trump, they all rant about him, but their approaches are different: Colbert is arch, Kimmel tends towards more-in-sorrow-than-in-anger, but Bee’s shtick is all righteous, almost frenetic anger. The best you could hope for in TBS pressuring her to apologize, I would have guessed, would be a “sorry not sorry” rant in which she apologized for the particular choice of the word “c*nt” and then spent 15 minutes ranting in more polite terms about how Trump and his family are stains on humanity.
But no, she’s pretty straightforward in her apology here. It makes me wonder if it wasn’t TBS that ultimately prevailed upon her but rather feminist liberals who grudgingly agreed with the dastardly right wing that “c*nt” is a not so feministy way to refer to a sister. E.g.:
I love @iamsambee but don’t love gendered attacks like calling a woman the c word (even by comedians who I give extra leeway to).
Tho it’s pretty rich to watch the same ppl who call ‘grab them by the p’ “locker room talk’ fulminating over this.
— Kirsten Powers (@KirstenPowers) May 31, 2018
Begging Ivanka’s forgiveness because her corporate masters demanded it would be a blow to Bee’s image. Begging her forgiveness because doing so makes her a better feminist would not. The only way to be woke and to get away with handing the Trumps a win is if doing so somehow makes you more woke. That’ll be the explanation given when she’s asked about this, I’m sure.
Incidentally, I don’t like Sanders insinuating that Bee’s show should be canceled. She has a nasty habit of encouraging employers to strip Trump’s critics of their livelihoods when they offend the king. She hinted at it when ESPN host Jemele Hill called Trump a white supremacist, she hinted at it after Steve Bannon suddenly become an Unperson to the White House after Michael Wolff’s book came out, now she’s hinting at it again. Kathy Griffin goes too far here in treating this as a First Amendment issue but it’s not crazy to find it ugly and troublesome when a top aide in the executive branch leans on a corporation which the government regulates to punish an employee for criticizing someone in the White House:
My dog’s obedience school classmates could explain to you that when the White House Press Secretary starts making statements that including a demand for a network to cancel a show that we are crossing over into 1st amendment territory. That you don’t get that depresses me. https://t.co/L7EZXQM7vR
— Kathy Griffin (@kathygriffin) May 31, 2018
It’s especially silly to call for a late-night lefty to be fired when she could be swapped out for another host without missing a beat. There are literally hundreds of American comics who have the same boring opinions about Trump and would kill to do the same sort of boring “Daily Show” knock-off that people like Bee and John Oliver do. TBS would sign Michelle Wolf or whoever two days from now and they’d hit the ground running. Firings are a draconian remedy. In this case they wouldn’t remedy anything.
Anyway, expect every other late-night host tonight to mention the 8,000 crass things Trump has said, starting with the “Access Hollywood” tape.