Late-Night TV Just Got Even Whiter

Photo: Getty Images/ Bryan Bedder.
After just two seasons, Comedy Central's The Nightly Show with Larry Wilmore has been canceled. The late-night comedy show will air its final episode this Thursday. After expressing gratitude to "Comedy Central, Jon Stewart" and his fans, Wilmore told The Hollywood Reporter, "I'm also saddened and surprised we won't be covering this crazy election or 'The Unblackening' as we've coined it. And keeping it 100, I guess I hadn't counted on 'The Unblackening' happening to my time slot as well."
The loss of The Nightly Show is a major blow to nighttime TV — an area that made obvious strides towards offering a more diverse lineup. Last September a Vanity Fair photo sparked discussion on the lack of racial and gender diversity in nightly television — of the 10 hosts pictured, only two were people of color (and, in the sad age before Full Frontal With Samantha Bee, there were absolutely no women). With The Nightly Show gone, Trevor Noah is the only remaining non-white host.
But canceling The Nightly Show won't just put Wilmore out of work, it will also disband an incredibly diverse group of writers. While Late Show host Stephen Colbert has admitted to having,"a very white writers room," and according to Complex, there are only eight women of color writing for the 10 top late night shows, The Nightly Show writer's room employed at least three women of color.
The Nightly Show covered topics and point of views that had been missing from late-night. Its cancellation shouldn't just be a source of frustration, but a reminder that one or two shows can't shoulder the responsibility of hiring diverse voices. An entire section of Hollywood shouldn't be a single show away from moving this far backward.

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