A popular comedian who says she was interested in the CBS late-night spot being vacated by Craig Ferguson indicated the network was closed to the idea of a female taking the job. The Associated Press reports that Kathy Griffin told the news service she was interested in the position, but was told her gender disqualified her.
“I was interested in the Ferguson spot long before it was announced because I had a feeling things might shift,” Griffin said. “My joke phrase is, ‘I can start Monday.'”
She said an executive, who wasn’t named nor his or her role identified, said, “They’re not considering females at this time.”
Griffin said she replied, “You realize that’s illegal to say in a business meeting?”
She added that when she said the lack of female hosts was “embarrassing,” since women make up half the population, she was told, “Well, you have ‘The Talk,’” referring to the daytime talk show, which features five co-hosts.
“While the rest of TV catches up to diversity, with fictional portrayals daring to imagine women as U.S. presidents and mirror the reality of an African-American leader, networks simply are unwilling to roll the dice on either a female or minority in the lofty position of late-night host,” the AP notes.
As we reported previously, the Craig Ferguson spot has been given to British performer James Corden.