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17th of July 2018

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Samantha Bee reflects on the 'steep learning curve' following backlash

Samantha Bee knows more controversies will come for "Full Frontal"Samantha Bee knows more controversies will come for "Full Frontal"Image: Getty Images for TBS/Turner2017%2f07%2f14%2f06%2fimg 5245.46e2aBy Jess Joho2018-07-12 20:05:29 UTC

Samantha Bee just received yet another hard-earned Emmy nomination for her show Full Frontal, hot on the heels of her win last year.

Yet she can't help but meet this achievement with mixed emotions, after being embroiled in an outrage news cycle for calling Ivanka Trump a "feckless cunt."

"You can't celebrate your victories long. That's all I'm saying," she said in an interview with The Hollywood Reporter shortly after the Thursday announcement. "It affected me a lot."

Bee issued not one, but two apologies during the firestorm of backlash, on Twitter and the show itself. Her on-air apology focused less on the word itself and more on its distraction from the immigration policy she was trying to call attention to. 

Former Daily Show boss Jon Stewart stood up for Bee, blaming the political right for seizing an opportunity rather than expressing any genuine indignation. But that didn't stop advertisers like Autotrader.com and State Farm from threatening to pull out of Full Frontal.

Bee took the near catastrophe to heart, regardless of whether the scandalized reactions were just manufactured political pageantry. "I've been thinking a lot about it. We had a scheduled vacation around July 4, and it was a time of reflection," she said.

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It seems to have been a wake up call for Bee, a reminder of the unprecedented scrutiny that all public figures face in 2018.

"I do think that being a part of the outrage machine is an inevitability now," she said. "That's a reality everyone has to grapple with — not just me. The level of ferocity is something I hadn't quite experienced up to that point, but I assume I'll go through it again. Maybe I'll be better prepared next time. I think we handled it well, but it was a pretty steep learning curve."

Yet Bee's commitment to her raw and honest approach to late night doesn't appear to be going anywhere. In a statement following the nomination, she wrote:

It's been an interesting year for the show, to say the least, and none of it would have been possible without each person on my staff and each suit at TBS (it's OK to say that — they're very nice suits). TBS bravely put a woman over 45 on TV, and in turn I only got yelled at by the president once. We have some seriously special people on our staff, and hearing them go crazy in the office right now is just the medicine this world needs.

And thankfully, she hasn't lost her sense of humor about the whole thing.

When asked by THR about the advice she'd give upcoming Emmy hosts Michael Che and Colin Jost, Bee joked, "I know one word they shouldn't say."

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