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Letterman Comedian Booker Dropped After Comments About Women in Comedy (Update)

Eddie Brill booked one female comic last year — out of 22

Eddie Brill has lost his job booking comedians for "The Late Show With David Letterman" after making comments in a New York Times profile that some considered sexist.

CBS declined to comment, and Brill did not immediately respond to a request for comment. But a person with knowledge of "The Late Show" operations confirmed to TheWrap that Brill will no longer book talent, though he will remain the show's warm-up act.

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Brill lost the booking job after saying in the profile that "there are a lot less female comics who are authentic. I see a lot of female comics who to please an audience will act like men."

The comments only added to accusations that the "Late Show" is a boys club: Even though women thrived in comedy last year — from "Bridesmaids" at the multiplexes to fall's biggest TV hit, "2 Broke Girls" — Brill booked only one female comic out of 22 standups in 2011. Letterman's admission in 2009 that he had affairs with female staffers has done nothing to help the show's reputation.

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In a 4 a.m. Sunday post to the message board of the new comedy publication Mirth, Brill tried to deflect the criticisms of his comments — but only drew more criticism. In his post, he said his remarks were taken out of context and referred to established comedian Amy Schumer as a "comedian's girlfriend," because she has previously dated fellow comedian Anthony Jeselnik.

The New York Times writer who had profiled him, Jason Zinoman, subsequently posted to say the remarks were not taken out of context. And Schmumer responded: "Eddie, is that my identity? 'That comedian’s girlfriend'? I would examine the possibility that you need more updating than you think."

Brill subsequently apologized, adding, "It is time for me to accept the consequences of my printed words… and to learn from this."

Brill's role as the gatekeeper to a "Late Show" set, which he held for more than a decade, made him one of the most powerful bookers in standup. Under the new booking system, a show staffer will scout out comedians and invite them to audition for a panel of producers.