Stephen Colbert ripped “human Shrek” Harvey Weinstein on The Late Show on Monday after the famous film executive was fired by his own film studio in the aftermath of a New York Times story alleging that he had a history of sexual harassment stretching across multiple decades. Seth Meyers and Jimmy Fallon also incorporated commentary on Weinstein into their shows.
Colbert did not shy away from the sordid details of Weinstein’s harassment. “He apparently required some female employees to be present while he bathed, which explains the job-listing, ‘must type 90 words-per-minute and enjoy vomiting,'” Colbert said. “A local reporter in New York said Weinstein forced her to watch him masturbate into a potted plant,” the late-night host continued. “Pro tip – if you ever have dinner at Harvey Weinstein’s house, avoid the fresh basil. And after the salad’s been served, when he comes around the table, that’s not a pepper grinder he’s holding.”
Colbert also slammed Weinstein and his camp for their non-apology – the executive’s lawyers described their client as “an old dinosaur learning new ways.” “That’s no excuse,” Colbert said. “[And] Dinosaurs did not touch themselves in front of the employees – the T-Rex’s arms were way too short.”
The Late Show-host finished his segment by linking Weinstein’s behavior to President Trump’s “grab ’em by the pussy” comments from last year. Trump still defends his words as “locker room talk.” “Saying ‘locker room’ does not excuse it,” Colbert retorted. “That’s like Harvey Weinstein saying, ‘masturbated in potted plans? That’s just greenhouse talk.'”
Seth Meyers took a different approach to the Weinstein story on his show, ceding the camera to three of his female writers, who took turns ripping Weinstein for his actions. After The New York Times published its story, Weinstein issued a statement saying, “I came of age in the Sixties and Seventies, when all the rules about behavior and workplaces were different.” “[That] would be a good excuse if he came to the present via time machine,” quipped Ally Horde. “Does he lose his shit every time he sees a microwave?” wondered Amber Ruffin.
Instead of devoting an entire segment to Weinstein, Fallon squeezed one joke at Weinstein’s expense into his opening Tonight Show monologue. “Harvey Weinstein was fired by his company yesterday for being accused of sexual harassment; not good,” Fallon noted. “They said if he keeps it up he’ll wind up with his own show on Fox News.”
This commentary from late-night hosts was notable after Saturday Night Live took flak for failing to address the Weinstein story during last weekend’s episode. According to The New York Times, SNL writers had prepared some jokes about Weinstein but decided to drop them before the show aired. Lorne Michaels, creator and executive producer of SNL, told The Daily Mail that the show didn’t address Weinstein because “it’s a New York thing.”
A source at SNL subsequently told The New York Times that the Weinstein jokes did not connect with the audience during the pre-show dress rehearsal. The same source also suggested that Michaels’ comments meant that Weinstein’s story was primarily being discussed in New York, but that it hadn’t yet become a top story in other parts of the country.