Late-night comedy host Samantha Bee is staging an alternative to the annual White House Correspondents’ Association Dinner and donating the proceeds to a journalistic-freedom advocacy group.
TBS announced Monday that the event by the host of “Full Frontal with Samantha Bee” would take place Saturday, April 29, at The Willard Hotel in Washington, D.C. The White House Correspondents’ Association Dinner is scheduled to take place the same night.
“Executives at TBS offered their full support of the gala by nodding politely and then muttering under their breath as we turned around,” Bee, 47, said in a statement. “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.”
She assured, “We’re really doing this. This is not a joke.”
The cable network’s announcement did not specify whether the event would be recorded for broadcast.
The WHCA represents the White House press corps in its dealings with the administration on coverage-related issues. The group’s members have faced unusually high antagonism by the new Trump administration. The annual dinner, hosted by a comedian, has traditionally been attended by prominent politicians including the president as well as guests in the entertainment industry and other fields.
All proceeds from what Bee is calling the Not the White House Correspondents’ Dinner will go to the Committee to Protect Journalists, a nonprofit organization dedicated to defending press freedom worldwide. The traditional White House Correspondents’ Dinner funds journalistic scholarships.
Bee came to prominence as a correspondent on Comedy Central’s “The Daily Show with Jon Stewart.” Her satirical, topical-comedy show “Full Frontal with Samantha Bee” airs Wednesday nights on TBS.