July 7th, 2010
11:49 AM ET
Things have suddenly turned serious at "The Daily Show."
Following a recent report that the popular Comedy Central series and its host, Jon Stewart, are sexist, female staff members are fighting back.
More than 30 women at the satirical news program - including new correspondent Olivia Munn - signed off on an open letter on the show's website.
"While rampant sexism at a well-respected show makes for a great story, we want to make something very clear: the place you may have read about is not our office," the letter reads. "In fact," it continues, "just like the men here, we're indispensable."
Women account for 40 percent of the staff, according to the letter, and they aren't "all shoved into the party-planning department (although we do run that, and we throw some kick-ass parties)." In reality, they're employed in a variety of roles, working as accountants, producers, researchers, talent coordinators, writers and correspondents.
While the women admit their jobs are challenging, they wouldn't have it any other way. "Why have we stayed for two, five, ten, fourteen years? Because it's challenging."
It probably also doesn't hurt to have 47-year-old Stewart - described in the letter as the opposite of sexist - for a boss.
"He can be quite charming," the letter explains. "He's also generous, humble, genuine, compassionate, fair, supportive, exacting, stubborn, goofy, hands-on, driven, occasionally infuriating, ethical, down-to-earth and - a lot of people don't know this - surprisingly funny."
Ultimately, the women say, "when it comes down to it, 'The Daily Show' isn't a boy's club or a girl's club, it's a family - a highly functioning if sometimes dysfunctional family.
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