Cancel The Colbert Report? Has Satire Been Mistaken For Racism?

by
Fatimah Mazhar
Stephen Colbert is wrongly being accused of racism. Here’s what we think you should know.

Television commentator Stephen Colbert came under fire on Thursday when his show The Colbert Report’s official account tweeted a seemingly distasteful joke about Asian community stereotypes.

However, the controversy shouldn’t have erupted in the first place because the supposedly offensive comment was actually a quote picked from Wednesday night’s show and completely taken out of context; probably because it was tweeted separately on Twitter where social media justice strikes hard – that too in real time.

Here’s what The Colbert Report posted:

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The host was widely criticized for not drawing a line between humor and an insult while some called for Colbert’s show to be taken off air for promoting racism.

Subsequently, the hashtag #CancelColbert started trending on Twitter and the entire episode blew up the extent that the controversial tweet had to be taken down.

However, there are a couple of things that should be kept in mind before hitting the judgment buzzer on the internet.

1: Stephen Colbert plays a character on Twitter and he is a comedian. Just like Zach Galifianakis plays an abusive interviewer on the online chat show “Between Two Ferns” on which the actor recently asked U.S. President Barack Obama how it felt to be the last black president of America.

“I’m not an assassin. I do the show in character - and he's an idiot; he's willfully ignorant of everything we're going to talk about. Disabuse me of my ignorance. Don't let me put words in your mouth,” Colbert stated in an interview in 2008.

2: The tweet was neither posted by the man himself nor was it put up on his official Twitter account. Here’s proof:

3: The third and the most important fact is that the remark was made while Colbert was highlighting a real issue that could actually have a lot to do with racism.

The host was mocking football team Washington Redskins owner Dan Snyder for responding to complaints about his team name by announcing a foundation to help Native Americans.

Have a look at the video of the segment in the video below:

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