I must admit to not being a huge fan of Stephen Colbert and even though I found myself agreeing with his detractors when he was embroiled in the Suey Park controversy, I’m glad he’ll be succeeding David Letterman on “The Late Show.” Just for the sake of having an “ally” as a replacement instead of an apolitical comedian.
God, I can’t wait for the white male supremacy to just die out already and even though this seems like another last gasp for them, we can’t go the other extreme by demanding to replace them entirely.
- Cesar Vargas
What I’m not a diehard fan of is seeing little change with the color and gender of the roster of comedians hosting late night shows. It’s like it’ll kill networks to step into the 21st century and put a woman or a Latino in these prominent positions. Especially since they last for decades. God, I can’t wait for the white male supremacy to just die out already and even though this seems like another last gasp for them, we can’t go the other extreme by demanding to replace them entirely.
The point of diversity in the media is to have a diverse representation of people. That includes white males. I know they’re the majority right now, but would it have killed the networks and its ratings if they at least considered a Latino, African American, Asian, or even a woman? That would’ve truly been something remarkable because I am totally underwhelmed by the predictable choice. Let’s not even bother with race, sex, or ethnicity as a predictor of the best comedian for the job at this point. Comedy is comedy. I like to think it’s indifferent to all those things aforementioned, but why does it mostly (or worse, only) seem like white men are the only ones fit for the job? That doesn’t look like the precious merit myth to me.
Now, another question that comes to mind is: Will he resonate with Latino viewers? I’m pretty sure his shtick transcends race and ethnicity. His show already does. I do have friends who are fans of the man. They are not too keen of the change from “The Colbert Report” to the “The Late Show” for the obvious reason of not wanting to lose the glib faux conservative character he plays and they’ve learned to love. Beyond that, they don’t seem to mind. Some of us, however, might see his transition as a promotion in the same ol’ club of racist -or obviously oblivious- white boys.
The man paid his dues. He’s an ally. I have no qualms with seeing him take over the “The Late Show.” But, it would’ve been seriously remarkable to see a woman or a Latino finally take those reins. Maybe one day.
César Vargas is a producer, writer, director, and social media strategist. He founded UPLIFTT (United People for Latinos in Film TV and Theater) and is president of Burning Ones Productions. You can reach him on Twitter at /CesarVargas365.