Studio executive and film producer Harvey Weinstein was fired after multiple allegations of sexual harassment became public last week. Many people see striking similarities to the Bill O’Reilly scandal, which led to his termination from his position with Fox News, but the way late night shows have addressed the situation has been surprisingly different.
After the scandal involving O’Reilly became common knowledge, late-night television shows used the situation for a variety of skits and monologues. But, Weinstein hasn’t received the same amount of coverage from these show, with only John Oliver giving the situation a significant amount of airtime.
The exact reason for the difference is up for debate, but their political stances may be partially responsible. O’Reilly is a conservative who regularly disagreed with late night show hosts on many issues. Weinstein, however, was a Hollywood liberal.
It is important to note that O’Reilly can be considered a household name, and the same can’t necessarily be said for Weinstein, so the public’s level of familiarity with the person being targeted could also be a factor.
However, the difference in how the situations were treated is easily noticeable. Saturday Night Live (SNL), after allegations surfaced about O’Reilly, created a skit that mimicked his show, “The O’Reilly Factor,” and mocked his sexual advances towards women. Jokes about Weinstein were written for SNL but were ultimately scrapped due to concerns that he wouldn’t be familiar to a national audience.
Jimmy Fallon, the host of “The Tonight Show,” commented about O’Reilly’s firing and future employment opportunities, saying, “Experts say that it’s not likely that any self-respecting network will hire [O’Reilly]. Then CNN said, ‘Welcome aboard.’
Fallon also commented about O’Reilly meeting Pope Francis saying, “Ge this, I saw that earlier today O’Reilly actually met with Pope Francis at the Vatican. When he saw O’Reilly go into confession, the next guy in line said, ‘You know what, I’ll come back tomorrow.’”
When it comes to Weinstein, Fallon has yet to comment.
Jimmy Kimmel also spoke about O’Reilly meeting the Pope on air as well as his firing. He did not, however, say anything about Weinstein on his show.
Kimmel did post a tweet on the Weinstein story in response to a question asked by Donald Trump Jr. on Twitter, saying, “You mean that big story from the failing, liberal, one-sided @nytimes? I think it is disgusting.”
“Late Show” host Stephen Colbert did a segment on O’Reilly on air but has not discussed the Weinstein situation on the show. However, like Kimmel, he did mention Weinstein on Twitter, saying, “So far, Harvey Weinstein has checked off ‘Sex’ and ‘Lies,’ but I really don’t want to see the Videotape.”
Seth Meyers, the host of Late Night, criticized O’Reilly on his show, as well as O’Reilly and Fox News’ relationship with President Donald Trump. On Weinstein, Meyers has remained silent.
“The Late Late Show” host, James Corden, also discussed O’Reilly but has not mentioned Weinstein on air.
Trevor Noah, host of “The Daily Show,” told multiple jokes about O’Reilly, but only casually mentioned Weinstein during a segment that was focused on the sexist remarks Cam Newton made to a reporter, saying, “It’s funny, right? Cause women… they don’t know… the things about the… Look! Harvey Weinstein!”
John Oliver has so far been the only late-night host to treat Weinstein similarly to how he discussed O’Reilly, openly condemning his actions on air during his show “Last Week Tonight.”
When talking about O’Reilly, he admitted that the “details are pretty disturbing” in regards to the allegations. During his discussion about Weinstein, after referencing a statement where Weinstein said, “I came of age in the ‘60s and ‘70s, when all the rules about behavior and workplaces were different. That was the culture then. I have since learned it’s not an excuse,” Oliver said on air, “Yeah, you’re right. Your excuse isn’t an excuse. In fact, it isn’t even an excuse for that behavior in the ‘60s.”