Sexism in Entertainment – does life imitate art?

jon stewartWith the latest departure by Jon Stewart in the late night lineup, the cry for a female host has risen to a roar that started with the departure of Leno from The Tonight Show a year ago.

Stewart is the sixth late night host to bow out in a year – six times for entertainment execs to pick a woman to yuck it up to the almost ready to turn out the lights audience, and to date all the replacements have been men.

This time around even the New York Times is editorializing on the importance of a woman to speak to the audience that is 55% female for some shows.

But why is this so important?

Well, for one it speaks to the bias shown on who is interviewed by the guys. When a male hosts a talk show a majority of the guests are male. “Colbert’s guests are 73% male and 89% white, for example, and since 2010 only 25% of Stewart’s guests have been women.”

But 55% of the audience is female. Seems like we are missing something here… hmmm – oh yeah, the voice and the issues of the audience. Right…

The Times article may have highlighted the issue best by pointing out that:

So why are women considered only for “next time”? Maybe it’s because studies show that men are promoted on potential and women on performance. This makes it far easier for a relative neophyte like Mr. Corden to get the nod at CBS while women are stuck in a Catch-22: Women can’t prove they can do the job until they get it, and they can’t get it until they prove they can do it.”

And that is where my question lies –is this life imitating art, or art highlighting reality?

If, as women, we are only promoted on our performance how many times are we missing out on the chance to truly challenge ourselves and prove our value to a company or cause?

And how many times are organizations and corporations missing out on the potential of a woman who might have the next big idea or the vision to turn it around or turn it up for that company or cause?

And what do we, as a society, need to do to change that and make sure that both women and men are promoted on a balance of potential and performance?

Maybe it starts with late night. Maybe if Comedy Central bucks the trend and promotes a woman, than industries inside and outside of entertainment will see that life really can imitate art.

Potential AND performance. For Men AND Women. Let’s talk about it… at 11.

Other related articles – Huff Post – Comedy Central, Please Replace Jon Stewart with a Woman

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