When you do satire — especially the no-holds-barred, rarely-breaks-character satire that “The Colbert Report” is famous for — you always run the risk of people taking what you say seriously. Such is the case with the “#CancelColbert” kerfuffle, with Twitter up in arms about an out-of-context tweet made by the @ColbertReport account.
The tweet, which has been deleted, but is pictured above, was made by the account after a segment aired (video below) where Colbert lambasted NFL owner Dan Snyder for his PR stunt of forming the Washington Redskins Original Americans Foundation, which is meant to provide opportunities to Native American tribes.
Sans context, the tweet from @ColbertReport certainly doesn’t look good, but the “Ching-Chong Ding-Dong” phrase is a joke Colbert has been using for years in different satire bits when talking about racism.
Furthermore, according to @ColbertReport, the tweet did not come from the show or the host, but rather from someone at the network itself: “For the record @ColbertReport is not controlled by Stephen Colbert or his show. He is @StephenAtHome Sorry for the confusion … This is a Comedy Central account, with no oversight from Stephen/show.”
Colbert himself has tweeted one response to the whole thing: “#CancelColbert – I agree! Just saw @ColbertReport tweet. I share your rage. Who is that, though? I’m @StephenAtHome.”
And for every person on Twitter expressing outrage, there are just as many defending Colbert:
- “It seems like we need to exhume and resurrect George Carlin to help explain satire and irony to the flaccid-brained. #CancelColbert.”
- “Really hard to push back on the “humorless liberal” idea when you guys flip out on a liberal comedian attacking racism. #cancelcolbert.”
- “The #cancelcolbert people know his on-camera persona is a satirical representation of the old, white, conservative talking heads, right?”
What do you think, readers? Is it a ridiculous reaction from people who are not familiar with the show, either in general or the specific segment the tweet stemmed from? Or is the tweet perpetuating racist language and stereotypes? And if so, should Colbert be canceled?