Him too. Back in the halcyon days of 2009 it was revealed that David Letterman had engaged in deeply inappropriate workplace behavior. The late night host had multiple affairs with women who worked under him, including an intern who was then just a college student.
Men of media have been thrown off the airwaves for doing much less in the past few months. Garrison Keillor of Prairie Home Companion was fired by Minnesota Public Radio for allegedly touching a woman’s bare back; Tom Ashbrook of the highbrow interview show On Point remains suspended indefinitely for, from what I can tell, being kind of a jerk to his underlings.
Yet apparently Letterman got in under the statute of limitations—hey, it was way back in 2009! Even though he no longer hosts his nightly show on CBS (and by the way, he was not fired from the network, he retired in dignity), Letterman has a new interview show forthcoming on Netflix. Seriously heavy hitters are lined up; he has interviewed, for example, Barack Obama. The New Yorker, which has usually been zealous on the #metoo beat, has just published a puff piece, celebrating the Obama-Letterman dialogue.
Now, maybe this is a reasonable thing. Perhaps Netflix determined that Letterman’s skills as an interviewer outweigh his manifestly creepy behavior in the office. In other words, perhaps Netflix determined that the enjoyment of the audience was more important than the wellbeing of Letterman’s employees. That’s a reasonable, if debatable, proposition for an entertainment company to embrace.
But what’s troubling is the utter lack of consistency. After all, Netflix made the exact opposite call when it was revealed that Louie CK had masturbated in front of women over a decade ago. (And things get really confusing here, because those acts occurred before Letterman’s transgressions, raising the question of just how the statute of limitations works with this stuff.)
After Louie’s exploits were detailed in a New York Times piece, Netflix stepped in to “protect” us viewers from having to see his visage again; his (terrific) F/X show was pulled from the streaming service. Even more galling, Louie’s then-forthcoming movie was pulled from distribution. (And by the way, how unfair was that decision to Edie Falco, Charlie Day, John Malkovich, and others who co-starred in the flick?)
Adding to the mystery is that we can’t point to the usual bugaboo—politics and ideology—to explain the disparate treatment. Louie and Letterman are comfortably on the bien pensant left. Yet one comes in for censure, while the other is celebrated.
I’m not necessarily saying that Letterman should be banished from polite company—or even Obama’s company. But the mystery of why some people get a #metoo pass, and others don’t, is intensely interesting.
Source : http://www.weeklystandard.com/him-too/article/2011139528