Stephen Colbert found himself in hot water on March 27 after appearing to post a racially offensive but totally out of context tweet. In fact, many people were so outraged that they even banded together to start the #CancelColbert movement, calling for Comedy Central to ax the show.
While Stephen Colbert may be known for the satirical, willfully ignorant character he plays on The Colbert Report, fans were not laughing when the show’s Twitter handle posted a racially offensive tweet mocking Asian stereotypes on March 27. Now thousands of people are demanding that The Colbert Report be canceled. Are these people missing the point of Stephen’s joke, or did his satire cross the line?
Stephen Colbert’s Racially Offensive Tweet
The offensive tweet mocking Asian stereotypes was sent from The Colbert Report account and has since been deleted, but it read, “I’m willing to show the #Asian community I care by introducing the Ching-Chong Ding-Dong Foundation for Sensitivity to Orientals or Whatever.”
The tweet was originally a quote from the March 27 episode of The Colbert Report, in which Stephen was ironically mocking Washington Redskins owner Dan Snyder, who responded to complaints about his team’s name by announcing a foundation to help Native Americans.
The in-show segment was clearly a joke meant to highlight how absurd Snyder’s actions were — as if starting a foundation could cover up the clear racism of his team’s name — but the tweet, without the context the show had, really set people off. And they made their outrage known using the hashtag #CancelColbert:
You think that Colbert’s satire is OK? Um, no. It’s disgusting & devalues the lives of Asian & trans folks. #cancelcolbert
— Christopher Carbone (@christocarbone) March 28, 2014
— Lilith (@GrimalkinRN) March 28, 2014
Stephen Colbert Reacts To Out Of Line Tweet
Stephen has since addressed the controversial tweet from his home account, making the distinction between his personal and this account — which neither he nor his show directly control:
And The Colbert Report handle then reinforced that Stephen shouldn’t be held accountable for the out of context tweet:
— The Colbert Report (@ColbertReport) March 28, 2014
We agree that without the proper context of Wednesday’s segment, the tweet was very out of line. But at the same time, this #CancelColbert movement might be better served by going after the real offenders — people like Dan Snyder — before attacking a guy for a tweet that he wasn’t even responsible for.
What do YOU think HollywoodLifers? Do you think Stephen is accountable for the tweet?
— Caitlin Beck