BIPOC late-night and variety show writers say the lack of diversity on-screen and behind it is due to a lack of chances and opportunity given to people of color. “If you look at traditionally… the hosts that we remember a lot, the ones from those 11:30 p.m. 12:30 a.m. shows, they got so many chances,” Greg Iwinski, who has written for Comedy Central’s “Last Week Tonight With John Oliver” and CBS’ “Late Show With Stephen Colbert” said Thursday during TheWrap’s strike roundtable, “BIPOC Late-Night and Variety Writers Speak Out.” “But if you’re a person of color, it’s like, ‘Here are six episodes, each year that we’re going to call a season. So you have six half-hours,’” Iwinski continued. “And [executives] are saying, ‘Well, if [hosts of color] can’t do it in two and half hours a year, I guess we’ll just let your show get canceled after two or three seasons.’” Historically, late night TV has been a predominately white man’s playground. Vanity Fair’s 2015 photoshoot with the “titans of late-night” made that abundantly clear. Though Larry Wilmore (“The Nightly Show with Larry Wilmore”) and Trevor Noah were the two exceptions out of the lineup of 10 hosts. Read Next Hollywood Strike Roundtable: WGA and SAG-AFTRA Members Say This Is ‘Phase 2’ | Video Noah’s exit as the host of “The Daily Show” in 2022 — a position passed to him by Jon Stewart after he left the show in August 2015 — marked the last time a person of color hosted a late-night series on television. At least until Arsenio Hall’s show, after Noah’s departure, POC representation in the 11 p.m. block and on streaming platforms got more and more scarce. A reboot of Hall’s late-night Fox series “The Arsenio Hall Show” (the first Black-owned and hosted late night talk show, which debuted in 1989) was canceled after one season on Netflix. Showtime canceled its hit series “Desus and Mero” in 2022 after a two-season run and the duo’s split, and the cabler also dropped Ziwe Fumudoh’s self-titled variety show, “Ziwe,” after two seasons in April of this […]
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