On Monday night, Seth Meyers’ female writers shared their thoughts about Harvey Weinstein. The next night, the host worked one joke about the disgraced Hollywood producer into his monologue. Thursday night, he dug in.
The Late Night host spent 10 minutes drawing an undeniable parallel between the horrors that Weinstein inflicted on scores of female employees and actresses and the ways President Donald Trump has used his power to abuse the women in his life. “It’s a reminder that our toxic culture of male entitlement is still very much intact,” Meyers said.
He began with the “explicitly misogynist” behavior of Trump, from his attacks on San Juan Mayor Carmen Yulin Cruz to the way he tried to “silence and bully” the more than a dozen women who have accused him of sexual harassment “by viciously attacking them and even threatening to sue them.”
“Donald Trump is perhaps the most famous example of this kind of abuse of male power, but he is by no means the only one,” Meyers said, pointing his finger directly at Weinstein, who has expressed hopes for a second chance as early as next year.
“You think you can come back in a year?” Meyers asked, incredulously. “If Weinstein had himself cryogenically frozen and woke up a thousand years from now, the headline would still be, ‘Too soon, creep.’”
In response to attorney Lisa Bloom’s description of Weinstein as an “old dinosaur learning new ways,” Meyers said, “Dinosaurs don’t learn new ways. They go extinct! If you’re a dinosaur, then this is your Ice Age, buddy. And unlike real dinosaurs, no one is ever going to try and bring back Harvey Weinstein.” A poster for “Jur-asshole Park” appeared on the screen.
“This entire ordeal is yet another window into the mind of entitled, predatory men who are used to operating without consequence,” Meyers added. “There is no doubt that this horrifying story reveals yet again a culture of systemic misogyny that exists at the highest levels of society.”
In just the last 18 months, he said, “the most powerful man in news”—Roger Ailes—“the most powerful man in politics”—Donald Trump—“and the most powerful man in Hollywood”—Harvey Weinstein—“have been accused of serial sexual predation.”
“This should not be a partisan issue,” Meyers continued. “It requires all of us to speak out and ask ourselves what we can do to address it.” To Kellyanne Conway, who “rushed in to exploit the scandal for political gain,” he said, “Oh my God, you work for Donald Trump, remember?”
As for Mike Pence’s rule of not being alone with a woman who isn’t his wife, Meyers added, “I can’t believe I have to say this, but you should be able to be alone with a woman and not sexually assault her.”
“Look, there are predators of all political persuasions, in both political parties,” Meyers said. As Hillary Clinton’s photo appeared beside him, he added, “And moreover, women should not be held accountable for the predatory behavior of men.” He called on men to “speak up and address their complicity in the system that allows these things to happen.”
“You want to argue that Harvey Weinstein was just as bad as Donald Trump? Fine,” he concluded. “Harvey Weinstein was, after far too long, found out and fired. Donald Trump has been found out for a year and we’re still waiting.”