Samantha Bee, the host of TBS’s Full Frontal, has announced plans to host an alternative event on the same night as the annual White House Correspondents’ Association Dinner. In a statement to media, Bee announced plans for what many are predicting will essentially be a roast of Donald Trump.
“The evening is sure to bring plenty of surprises, music, food, and laughter—and if you’re not careful you just might learn something. Specifically, you’ll learn how screwed we’d be without a free press.”
The first annual “Not the White House Correspondents’ Dinner” is set to take place on April 29, the same night as the WHCA dinner, at Washington’s Willard Hotel. In a statement, Bee explained that “journalists and non-irritating celebrities from around the world” would be invited to attend.
She added, “We are really doing this. This is not a joke.”
Speculating on the current state of relations between team Trump and the media, Bee continued, “We suspect some members of the press may find themselves unexpectedly free that night, and we want to feed them and give them hugs.”
The WHCA Dinner provides an opportunity for the press to mingle with key members of the current administration. Considering Trump’s treatment of the press has led some to speculate that current White House relations with the media are at an all-time low, some have begun to wonder whether the dinner will take place at all this year.
During Trump’s first week in power, he and members of his administration have repeatedly labeled the media as “dishonest” while referring to them as the “opposition party.” While past years have seen the White House Correspondents’ Association Dinner criticized for blurring the boundaries between the media and the politicians they report on, the risk of that with the Trump administration seems low.
The failing @nytimes has been wrong about me from the very beginning. Said I would lose the primaries, then the general election. FAKE NEWS!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 28, 2017
— Kellyanne Conway (@KellyannePolls) January 25, 2017
Bee has been a vocal critic of Trump from the beginning, using her platform to question his politics and credibility. Speaking on Trump’s inauguration, Bee described the day as “swollen with lugubrious pomp and freighted with menace” before turning her attention to Trump’s picks for Cabinet.
“Trump’s concert was like his cabinet: male, overwhelmingly white, and devoid of any A-list talent.”
Are we done giving Trump a chance now? pic.twitter.com/UpPBF2TAWT
— Full Frontal (@FullFrontalSamB) January 27, 2017
Speaking on Full Frontal’s role in reporting during a Trump presidency, the Canadian actress acknowledged the new era we see ourselves in.
“It’s not comedic, it’s outrageous and it’s jaw-dropping. We are going to have to imagine the previously unimaginable. Everything that’s going to happen from here forward is unprecedented, probably.”
Bee’s willingness to tackle big issues has seen her labeled as “the best political voice on late-night television.” Following last year’s mass shooting in Orlando, Bee rallied for change to gun control laws. Reacting to statements from several Florida politicians, the actress attacked their acceptance of the inevitability of such attacks.
“Love does not win unless we start loving each other enough to fix our f***ing problems.”
While it hasn’t yet been announced whether the satirical event will be televised, it is understood that talks are continuing with network TBS. All proceeds from the event will be donated to the Committee to Protect Journalists, an American organization dedicated to the promotion of free press.
[Featured image by Evan Agostini/AP Images]