Samantha Bee ended a challenging Thursday by picking up an award at the 11th annual Television Academy Honors for her TBS series Full Frontal, on which last night she called Ivanka Trump “a feckless c**t”. The ceremony, held at NeueHouse Hollywood on Sunset Blvd, lauded programs advancing social change, and in Full Frontal‘s case, for its coverage of the Time’s Up and #MeToo movement.
Bee skipped the red carpet, but made it inside the building where Deadline’s fellow PMC publication IndieWire caught wind of Bee’s speech at the podium, which received laughs and applause from the audience. Hours before the ceremony, the Television Academy uninvited the media from attending the ceremony, limiting them to the red carpet, over what they called “a substantial increase in attending press” as a result of the Bee controversy.
Bee at the podium said, “Every week I strive to show the world as I see it unfiltered. Sometimes I should probably have a filter. I accept that. I take it seriously when I get it right and I do take responsibility when I get it wrong.”
IndieWire reports that Bee explained that she was trying to do right last night in her segment “on the atrocious treatment of migrant children by this administration and past administrations… Our piece attracted controversy of the worst kind.”
“We spent the day wrestling with the repercussions of one bad word, when we all should have spent the day incensed that as a nation we are wrenching children from their parents and treating people legally seeking asylum as criminals,” Bee reportedly said in her speech. “If we are OK with that then really, who are we?” She ended by thanking Turner network for having her back.
Prior to the ceremony, there was a moderate turnout by the press on the red carpet, not so much a mob scene or a huge size on par with the red carpets at the Creative Emmys. Still, Bee, as well as the downfall of Roseanne Barr, weighed on the minds of many entering the building tonight.
Dana Delany, who hosted tonight’s event, said of Bee’s whirlwind: “I feel that we are in a sad place in our country right now.” While Delaney said she believes in freedom of speech, she decried a change in the tone of public discourse “that started with the election of our current President.”
Rita Moreno, star of honored Netflix series One Day at a Time, said, “you can’t compare the two” with regard to the comments of Barr and Bee. She said she was not prepared to comment on Bee because “I can’t comment because I didn’t see it, and I’ll be damned if I will comment on something I didn’t see, although now I will (see it).” But Moreno was outspoken about Barr: “I was so appalled I did something (I rarely do), I tweeted,” she said. “(I wrote) you break my heart…it’s odd that a woman who has been a comedian for all those years (can’t tell the difference) between a ‘joke’ and a personal comment…There’s something very wrong with someone who is so filled with hate.”
When asked about both controversies by Deadline, Norman Lear, also being honored as executive producer of One Day at a Time, said he didn’t have to answer because “you know everything I can be thinking.” The producer joked: “If I am going to talk about a woman tonight, it’s going to be Rita Moreno. I like her a lot.”
“You dirty old man,” Moreno responded with affection.
Terri Minsky, creator and executive producer of honored Disney Channel series Andi Mack, was also cautious in her remarks. “I mean, for me, just to be honored is weird, but I kind of like not being the in the red-hot center (of attention),” Minsky said.
Minsky added, “I’m a former journalist, so I have a certain fascination (for the story), I should be at the news table. I guess I would say I am a very interested observer, from over here.”
Earlier today Bee and TBS apologized for the host’s remarks on last night’s episode, shortly after White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders slammed the show. Along with Full Frontal other honorees tonight at the Television Honors included Andi Mack, Daughters of Destiny, Forbidden: Undocumented & Queer in Rural America, LA 92, One Day at a Time and 13 Reasons Why.