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Say What? Ex-Letterman Writer Says Hostile Work Environment No Joke

"Was I aware that other high-level male employees were having sexual relationships with female staffers? Yes. Did these female staffers have access to information and wield power disproportionate to their job titles? Yes. Did that create a hostile work environment? Yes. Did I believe these female staffers were benefiting professionally from their personal relationships? Yes. Did that make me feel demeaned? Completely. Did I say anything at the time? Sadly, no."

Nell Scovell, a female writer on the David Letterman show in the '80s, on why she left her "dream job" in less than four months as a writer on the show because of the sexual atmosphere there. Sexual favoritism, a subset of sexual harassment, creates a hostile work environment for women who are not having sex with higher ranking men by creating an uncomfortable sexual atmosphere in which it appears that advancement is predicated on having a sexual relationship with higher-ups. In 27 years, there have only been seven female writers on Late Night and Late Show. Scovell's dream? "I just want Dave to hire some qualified female writers and then treat them with respect. And that goes for Jay and Conan, too." As of today, there are no women out of the 50 comedy writers writing for Late Show With David Letterman, The Jay Leno Show, and The Tonight Show With Conan O’Brien.

Image Source: Getty
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