Comedy Writers Rally In Support After ‘Late Show’ Scribe Apologizes For Kavanaugh Joke
Late Show with Stephen Colbert writer Ariel Dumas apologized yesterday for tweeting about her happiness in helping to ruin Judge Brett Kavanaugh’s life. Considering Kavanaugh had just secured a lifelong gig on the Supreme Court, the “ruined life” tweet was, as Dumas later said, an attempt at sarcasm.
But did Dumas go too far – in apologizing? Many of her fellow comedy writers are coming to her defense. One even pledged “fire and fury” from Dumas’ fellow female comedy writers if the CBS Late Show writer is “financially” punished.
“Every comedy writer supports you,” tweeted Danny Zuker, executive producer of ABC’s Modern Family. “How great would it be if the people trolling you were this outraged over a woman being sexually assaulted?
Kathy Griffin tweeted Monday that Dumas is “a comedy writer, being held to a higher standard than the President of the United States. Love you @ArielDumas, f*ck the haters.”
Bess Kalb, an Emmy-nominated writer for Jimmy Kimmel Live!, called Dumas “One of the funniest writers working today,” and pledged her “support, admiration, and respect.”
“When angry women tell jokes it scares men shitless,” Kalb tweeted. “It’s going to be ok, fellas. You’re screaming at a comedian and it’s truly going to be ok. You will get through this, sirs.”
In a follow-up tweet (see all tweets below), Kalb wrote, “If anyone in any way financially punishes @ArielDumas for a clearly facetious joke about a man WHO HAD BEEN SWORN IN AS A SUPREME COURT JUSTICE, they will be met with a fire and fury from her fellow female comedy writers like they have never seen.”
Dumas’ original tweet on Saturday, as Kavanaugh had secured the necessary Senate votes for confirmation, stated, “Whatever happens, I’m just glad we ruined Brett Kavanaugh’s life.”
The remark drew the expected backlash from Kavanaugh supporters and right-leaning twitterers like actor James Woods, prompting Dumas to delete the tweet and, yesterday morning, send a new one:
“The last couple of weeks have been hard for the country and for me personally,” she wrote. “The complexity of frustration, anger and sadness can’t be accurately conveyed on twitter, and I regret my tone-deaf attempt at sarcasm in the wake of it.”
Deadline has reached out to the Late Show for comment.
Colbert won’t be discussing his writer’s tweets on TV tonight – The Late Show is scheduled with reruns this week. Tonight’s episode is from last month, with Beto O’Rourke as a guest.
But many of Dumas’ fellow comedy writers are clearly on her side and say no apology was needed. A sampling:
Josh Gondelman, writer, Last Week Tonight:
Bess Kalb, writer, Jimmy Kimmel Live!:
Zack Bornstein has written for Saturday Night Live and Jimmy Kimmel Live!:
Amber Ruffin, writer, Late Night With Seth Meyers:
Tim Carvell, exec producer, Late Night Tonight:
Padma Lakshmi, who is hosting the upcoming Padma Puts On A Comedy Show charity benefit in NYC:
Eden Riegel, actress:
Matt Walton, actor: