Tina Fey is not pulling any punches when it comes to president-elect Donald Trump.
Speaking to David Letterman for a feature in The Hollywood Reporter, Fey tells the former late night host that, in the wake of the presidential election, she’s concerned about attitudes toward women in the U.S.:
It feels like we were on the precipice of things getting pretty good, and now we’re in a bit of a throwback moment. 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.
Yet when Letterman asks about whether she has concerns about how this might effect her two daughters, Fey says that, though she does worry about the girls, she has “confidence that they are both strong enough to fight back, and I think they will feel empowered to call attention to any wrongdoing in their lives.”
The pair also discusses the role of artists in times of political turmoil. Fey notes that she’s been thinking about Leni Riefenstahl: A Memoir, a biography of the Nazi filmmaker that she read years ago. While acknowledging Riefenstahl’s technical brilliance, Fey says:
But she also rolled with the punches and said, ‘Well, he’s the fuhrer. He’s my president. I’ll make films for him.’ She did some terrible, terrible things. And I remember reading [her book] 20 years ago, thinking, “This is a real lesson, to be an artist who doesn’t roll with what your leader is doing just because he’s your leader.”
Fey goes on to name-check a host of comedians who’ve inspired her, including early SNL cast members like Jan Hooks, and some the women who she worked with during her time on the show, including Maya Rudolph, Emily Spivey, Paula Pell, Amy Poehler, Ana Gasteyer, and Rachel Dratch.
But it’s not just her fellow writers and performers who have shaped Fey’s career. She also thanks Charna Halpern, the “scrappy lady” who founded the iO Theater, previously known as the ImprovOlympic, in Chicago.
Says Fey: “She’s the one who put me and Amy Poehler together on a team and said, ‘You two should be together.’”