“I’m just not mad at Amazon,” Stephen Colbert told his audience Wednesday night. “I’m mad prime.”
The Comedy Central host slammed the massive online retailer for its ongoing battle with Hachette, the publisher of Colbert’s books and of other notable authors like J.K. Rowling, David Sedaris, and Malcolm Gladwell.
“Although parties aren't disclosing the details, the specific argument is understood to be about e-book pricing, both retail and wholesale. The larger conflict is about the publishing ecosystem and Amazon's role in it. What's ultimately at stake is whether Amazon is going to be able to freely and permanently bully publishers into eventual nonexistence,” stated the Los Angeles Times on Tuesday.
This prompted Colbert to give Amazon a taste of their own medicine and he literally delivered a middle finger to Jeff Bezos – the CEO of the international e-commerce company.
In the wake of the dispute, Sherman Alexie, a Hachette author and National Book Award winner also made an appearance on Comedy Central, calling on people to stop buying on Amazon.
“I’m just happy to be here,” Alexie said. “If Amazon had been in charge of the travel, it would have taken me two to five weeks to get here.”
Later in the show, Colbert asked his viewers to stop buying from Amazon. He encouraged fans to buy “California” by a debut Hachette author Edan Lepucki at a local Portland store Powell’s.
Soon enough, #CutDownTheAmazon became a trending hashtag and what’s even more amazing is that Lepucki’s book immediately became a bestseller.
Good work Colbert Nation!
Hi Colbert fans! Our site is going a little slow bc there are SO MANY of you but don't worry, we'll get all your orders! Thank you!— Powell's Books (@Powells) June 5, 2014
Stephen Colbert is even offering his viewers “I didn’t buy it at Amazon” stickers on his website.