Samantha Bee was a no-show on the red carpet at the 11th Annual Television Academy Honors last night, as she weathered a Thursday that entailed apologizing for her Wednesday night slur on TBS’ Full Frontal against Ivanka Trump.
Later, Bee was indeed inside the NeueHouse Hollywood to collect Full Frontal‘s honor as a program making social advancements, and she addressed the day’s melee at the podium. Prior to the ceremony, on the red carpet, Bee, as well as the downfall of Roseanne Barr in the last week, weighed on the minds of many entering the building last night.
Dana Delany, who hosted the 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.”
Yesterday Bee and TBS apologized for the host’s remarks on Wednesday’s Full Frontal telecast. That mea culpa came shortly after White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders slammed the show.
Along with Full Frontal other honorees last night 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. Full Frontal was lauded for its coverage of #MeToo and Time’s Up.
Hours before the Television Honors, the Television Academy uninvited the press to the awards ceremony citing an uptick in press requests following Bee’s controversy. The media was therefore sidelined to the red carpet only. Turnout by the press last night on the red carpet was moderate, not mobbed.