The entertainment industry has the most remarkable selective memory, doesn’t it? For example, Kim Kardashian rose to fame after her sex tape with Ray J (whom many people barely recall was even in it) was leaked in 2007. She has never lived this down, with media outlets continuously making fun of it today. People like Woody Allen, Bill Cosby, Sean Penn, Mike Tyson and Roman Polanski, on the other hand, have all enjoyed fruitful and highly-respected despite being accused (and occasionally convicted) of acts that were unethical, illegal and sometimes both. Funny how that happens, eh? Anyway, speaking of forgetting stuff, let’s talk about how awesome everybody is saying David Letterman is now that he’s retiring from The Late Show, which he’s been the host of for 31 years.
Tweets have poured in from fans and celeb friends alike, all praising Letterman for being such a swell guy all these years.
Cheers to @Letterman. A king, a king-maker, and probably the man most to blame for inflicting me on America. See you soon.
— Ricky Gervais (@rickygervais) April 3, 2014
David @Letterman announced he’s retiring in 2015. It’s been 31 incredible years. Television won’t be the same without you, Dave.
— Ellen DeGeneres (@TheEllenShow) April 3, 2014
Obvi will miss Letterman and his gorgeous tooth scenario/general brilliance
— Lena Dunham (@lenadunham) April 3, 2014
Wow, @Letterman retiring. He’s been a significant force in my “later” career. Thanks, Dave!
— Steve Martin (@SteveMartinToGo) April 3, 2014
David @Letterman is the best there is and ever was.
— Jimmy Kimmel (@jimmykimmel) April 3, 2014
Lena also threw in a bit of a hopeful message (one we certainly agree with):
I love Letterman but I am really excited about what this could mean for the diversification of late night. Trying not to be a pessimist…
— Lena Dunham (@lenadunham) April 3, 2014
All these lovely tributes from Seth Meyers to Keith Olbermann to even President Obama are very, very kind to Mr. Letterman. In his farewell declaration, the Late Night host thanked a lot of nice folks he’ll miss:
“I just want to reiterate my thanks for the support from the network, all of the people who have worked here, all of the people in the theater, all of the people on the staff, everybody at home, thank you very much. What this means now is that Paul [Shaffer] and I can be married.”
So sweet, right? But it is funny how he has thanked all the people who have worked there, considering he had sex with quite a few of them, which is kind of not okay when you’re the founder and owner of the production company they work for (Worldwide Pants).
It’s been alleged multiple times that they had an affair with his assistant during her time as his employee. Now, I could be way off-base here (and who knows, maybe it never happened), but isn’t it widely considered unethical to have sex with somebody who is employed beneath you (no pun intended)? For example, it is more than a little frowned upon for a boss to have sex with their intern because there is an inherent power dynamic between boss and employee; when you’re afraid you might lose your livelihood, you may feel compelled to do anything possible to avoid such a situation.
In 2009, Letterman admitted he had held multiple affairs with females who worked for his company after CBS producer Joe Halderman attempted to extort him for $2 million, threatening to reveal that Letterman had participated in sexual relationships with female employees. Naturally, this was deemed questionable–after all, doesn’t it seem odd to have your boss running around apparently having sex with subordinate employees? At the time, women in the entertainment industry wondered about the situation’s impact on the work environment. NBC’s Ann Curry, for example, said:
“It’s very interesting. Men and women think very differently about this story. The men I’ve talked to think, ‘How could a person within your own company kind of betray you like this?’ But the reaction I’m hearing from women is completely on the other end. They’re saying, ‘How could you have affairs, multiple affairs, with members of your own staff and how does that create a fair and equal working environment?’”
Indeed, how dare somebody betray you by discussing an uncomfortable situation in their work environment that involves their married boss? Oh wait, they dare do it because it’s uncomfortable and unfair. By his own admission in an on-air confession that’s been deemed “brilliant” (honestly, when has anybody described a confession as brilliant? But I digress), he concurred that he had done “terrible, terrible things.”