Comedian Tina Fey is concerned about the state of the country and the condition of its public discourse following Donald Trump’s stunning victory in the presidential election last month.
In an interview conducted by David Letterman for the Hollywood Reporter‘s “Women in Entertainment” issue, the 46-year-old actress and Saturday Night Live alum said she fears for the dignity of the United States and worries that inappropriate online discourse is “metastasizing” in the wake of Trump’s victory.
“How are we going to proceed with any kind of dignity in an increasingly ugly world?” Fey asked Letterman while discussing the pair’s mutual post-election anxiety.
“In a world where the president makes fun of handicapped people and fat people, how do we proceed with dignity?” she added. “I want to tell people, ‘If you do two things this year, watch Idiocracy by Mike Judge and read [Nazi filmmaker] Leni Riefenstahl’s 800-page autobiography [Leni Riefenstahl: A Memoir] and then call it a year.”
When asked by Letterman whether she believes her daughters might have a greater awareness of feminism than they may have had had they grown up just a couple decades ago, Fey — who was honored with the Hollywood Reporter‘s Sherry Lansing Leadership Award — said she fears America may have entered into a “throwback” moment following Trump’s election.
I definitely came out of last month feeling misogyny is much more real than two years ago. But the thing I worry about [more] than actual human interaction is the internet. Because that’s just despicable: people just being able to be awful to each other without having to be in the same room. It’s metastasizing now, thanks to our glorious president-elect who can’t muster the dignity of a seventh-grader. It’s so easy for people to abuse each other and to abandon all civility.
The actress added that Trump’s criticism of Alec Baldwin’s impression of him on Saturday Night Live makes her “feel sick for the state of the world,” and said the President-elect displayed “bad management skills” when he demanded an apology from the cast of the Broadway show Hamilton, who delivered an unannounced lecture to Vice President-elect Mike Pence at a performance last month.
“I thought, our president-elect is a chump of a manager because don’t put yourself in a position where you’re asking for something and you’re going to be told no,” Fey said of Trump’s request on social media. “I learned that from [SNL showrunner] Lorne [Michaels]. You’re the president. You demanded an apology that you can’t get. Bad management skills.”
Read the rest of Fey’s interview with David Letterman at the Hollywood Reporter.
Follow Daniel Nussbaum on Twitter: @dznussbaum