Stephen Colbert Accused of Racism after Out-of-Context Tweet
If you've been on Twitter this morning, you've probably seen that the hashtag #CancelColbert is trending. And, if you've seen the hashtag you probably reacted one of two ways: "Cancel Colbert? Why? I love that show?" or "Cancel Colbert. Why? That guy's a racist so I don't watch his show anyway." Well, both of these are very fitting for the situation because, Stephen Colbert is being accused of racism after a tweet from his show's account, @ColbertReport, was posted Thursday evening.
The tweet read, "I am willing to show #Asian community I care by introducing the Ching-Chong Ding-Dong Foundation for Sensitivity to Orientals or Whatever." Now, there are a couple things to point out before we continue, because some people have been having issues with getting the whole story before jumping to conclusions in this situation. One, The Colbert Report is a satirical show based around the idea that Stephen Colbert is a conservative news anchor that has trouble with common sense. Two, the tweet was referencing a segment the show aired earlier in the week in which Colbert made fun of Washington Redskins owner Dan Snyder for starting the Washington Redskins Original Americans Foundation as a way to "make up" for the team's controversial name. During this sketch, Colbert brought up a character he's used on his show named "Ching-Chong Ding-Dong" and shows a clip of himself playing the character in 2005.
Now keep those things in mind — please, please keep those things in mind because, as you'll see, the gift of context is important. A woman named Suey Park was able to get the #CancelColbert report moving with a tweet in response to The Colbert Report's that read, "For those that need a recap on the latest reason to #CancelColbert." This thing really took off and others followed Park's mission:
The tweet ended up being deleted and Comedy Central issued an apology-ish thing on the Colbert Report account saying,
Colbert himself also chimed in on his personal account writing,
It's understandable that one who hadn't watched the show might be confused, but context is important. Colbert made this point best himself in his tweet which points out how the Stephen Colbert on the show is a character and not actually the real Stephen Colbert. I mean, just look at how different they look.
This is Stephen Colbert:
And this is "Stephen Colbert:"
If people can't see that, then I've lost all faith in the world. #KeepColbert