Former "Late Night" writer Nell Scovell writes for Vanity Fair about the "hostile work environment" she found during her brief tenure at the show (she "walked away from [her] dream job" after a few months). "I’d seen enough to know that I was not going to thrive professionally in that workplace," says Scovell. "And although there were various reasons for that, sexual politics did play a major part."
Without naming names or digging up decades-old dirt, let’s address the pertinent questions. Did Dave hit on me? No. Did he pay me enough extra attention that it was noted by another writer? Yes. Was I aware of rumors that Dave was having sexual relationships with female staffers? Yes. 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.Dave asked her why she was quitting, but "with [his] rumored mistress within earshot, I balked. Instead, I told him I missed L.A. Dave said, 'You’re welcome back anytime.'" She went on to write for "Coach," "Monk," "NCIS," and many other shows, and she was the creator of the long-running sitcom "Sabrina, the Teenage Witch."
About the dearth of female writers on late night programs ("Late Show," "Jay Leno" and "The Tonight Show with Conan O'Brien" have not a single woman on their writing staffs), "the shows often rely on current (white male) writers to recommend their funny (white male) friends to be future (white male) writers. Targeted outreach to talented bloggers, improv performers, and stand-ups would help widen the field of applicants."