Samantha Bee, Amber Tamblyn discuss #MeToo, being ‘Women on Top’


Late-night host Samantha Bee and “Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants” actress Amber Tamblyn joined forces Monday night to “expose the truth”: Being a powerful woman “isn’t an oxymoron.”

“You are the living embodiment of how women and a lot of men feel,” Tamblyn said to Bee, host of TBS’ “Full Frontal” during the “Women on Top” panel discussion at NeueHouse Madison Square. “You harness a rage that a lot of women have tapped into.”

Bee, who was the only female host in late-night when she made her debut in 2016, sat on the panel promoting the third season of “Full Frontal.” She’s made recent headlines for taking on the likes of President Donald Trump, former Attorney General Eric Schneiderman and many of the entertainment industry’s leading actors and producers.

Her no-holds-barred approach to political and social issues plaguing the news cycle — particularly sexual misconduct — may be gaining attention this season, but Bee says her tactics haven’t changed.

“The world has changed and that has changed the show. Before, we thought the world would be slightly more predictable … we just had to adjust to the speed of the news cycle (in season three),” Bee said to an audience of more than 100, which included “Orange is the New Black” star Alysia Reiner and “Full Frontal” fans.

Bee said the network selected a group of “dynamic women” — Time’s Up co-founder Amber Tamblyn, Huffington Post CEO Arianna Huffington and journalist Kara Swisher — to host a chat about their experiences as successful women in what’s being called a “post-#MeToo” entertainment industry.

“I would not quite say we’re in the post #MeToo era. In a lot of ways, it’s really just getting started, which I’m sure is daunting for people to hear those words,” Bee said during a red carpet interview ahead of the event.

“There’s so much more to talk about there are so many more stories to come out,” she added. “There’s so much hiring that needs to be done, changing the ratio, there’s so much work to do.”

Tamblyn, one of the founding celebrities behind Time’s Up, shadowed Bee’s statement, stressing the importance behind the public’s continued support of the movement.

“This is so much bigger than black dresses,” Tamblyn said, referencing the Golden Globes blackout. “We’re about to announce some very large cases across industries … they will be watershed moments.”

Though Tamblyn said she was legally unable to give the group any more information on the cases, her statement was met with cheers from a crowd of predominantly women in their mid-20s and older.

Other topics touched on during the near-hourlong conversation included the White House Correspondents’ Dinner backlash involving comedian Michelle Wolf (“If any male comedian did that, it would not have gotten the same backlash,” Tamblyn said), Schneiderman and Puerto Rico’s debt crisis.

Bee, whose show films in New York City, was particularly keen to segue the conversation into Puerto Rico recovery post-Hurricane Maria given her show’s new charitable connection to the area.

The comedian transferred all of the production on her “Full Frontal” T-shirt company to Puerto Rico in March in an effort to provide financial support.

“It wasn’t a difficult decision. We wanted to make an impact, to leave something behind I guess,” she said.

All proceeds will go toward the Hispanic Federation’s hurricane relief through the rest of the year.

“I hope it’s working,” she added. “We’ll find out as the data finds out. We’ll learn if it was actually impactful, but I really, really hope so because we owe it to Puerto Rico to keep our eyes on them and to honor them as American citizens.”

“Full Frontal” airs Wednesdays at 10:30 on TBS.

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