The new guard of late night TV love the sound of their own voices except when it comes to speaking out against one of their own.
Despite the explosive sexual harassment allegations against entertainment executive Harvey Weinstein, the late night show hosts maintained completely silence on the matter, speaking instead about other topics.
Allegations against him, which surfaced in the New York Times, have been described as an “open secret” among Hollywood types. The story chronicles allegations of sexual abuse spanning over decades, with stories from female employees and associates who worked with him.
Since the article went live on Thursday, comedians like Jimmy Kimmel, Jimmy Fallon, Seth Meyers, Stephen Colbert, and James Corden avoided the topic. Even the usually loquacious Bill Maher refused to make light of it.
Of the group, only Trevor Noah mentioned it—but even his reference to Weinstein was brief, and made as an aside in a story about Cam Newton’s treatment of a female reporter.
Their silence did not go unnoticed, as even typically left-wing outlets like Huffington Post and The Daily Beast remarked upon their failure to speak up. The usually talkative men of late night TV were more than eager to make fun of Bill O’Reilly following his sexual harassment scandal earlier this year—making no small effort to virtue signal about “rape culture” and misogyny in showbiz.
Since then, only comedian Stephen Colbert has come out to make light of Weinstein. He did so on Twitter.
Others, like the comedian dubbed “America’s Conscience” by CNN, Jimmy Kimmel, remained silent. When Donald Trump Jr. asked Kimmel for his thoughts, he provided an evasive response, and followed it up with a bit of whataboutery about Trump Jr.’s father.
For someone who can spend an hour blathering on about a single subject any time he speaks, it’s telling that the only opinion Kimmel could muster about Weinstein was to call his actions “disgusting.”
Kimmel’s tepid response is part of a larger trend of Hollywood figures and liberals who are choosing to hold their tongues more than they have about similarly controversial conservative figures in the past.
Like the late night hosts, Saturday Night Live had absolutely nothing to say about Weinstein. What a surprise.