As expected, Stephen Colbert made an intelligent and achingly hilarious response to the #CancelColbert campaign that happened over the weekend during Monday night's broadcast. In case you missed the controversy, or were, I don't know, reading a book, the satirical news show came up against a lot of heat after a joke was tweeted out of context. The now-defunct Twitter account for the show (more on that in a moment) @ColbertReport posted a quote from a segment about an actually racist foundation created by the Washington Redskins owner Dan Snyder.
The joke read, “I am willing to show #Asian community I care by introducing the Ching-Chong Ding-Dong Foundation for Sensitivity to Orientals or Whatever." Afterward, Colbert (whose actual Twitter account is @StephenAtHome) was accused of being a racist, leading to a huge debate on Twitter that spread all over the news. So how did Stephen Colbert respond? By calling out the media, clarifying what happened, defending the hashtag activists, getting the co-founder of Twitter to permanently delete the show's account with a kill switch... and comparing himself to Jesus. Because he's Stephen F-ing Colbert.
One of the best takeaways from Colbert's response was just how insanely fast the path from Tweet to worldwide news really is. In his own, words, "Let me recap: A Web editor I’ve never met posts a tweet, in my name on an account I don’t control, outrages a hashtag activist, and the news media gets 72 hours of content... the system worked." He also made some HYPER-meta points about satire (even pointing to the grandfather of satire, Jonathan Swift) and reminded viewers that Stephen Colbert is playing a character Stephen Colbert who once played a character that was really, really racist. And further noted, "I just pray no one ever tweets that time I said Rosa Parks was overrated, Hitler had some good ideas, or ran a cartoon during Black History Month featuring President Obama teaming up with the Klu Klux Klan... cause, man, that sounds pretty bad out of context."
Colbert made a complete mockery of the system and did not once blame the public for their hurt or outrage. And his plea to end the trolling and harrassment of the #CancelColbert supporters was a classy and necessary move. And the real nugget of truth in Colbert's response, which should be the actual focus of the news coverage, was the very fact that NO ONE is talking about the actual horrible things that were said intentionally by Dan Snyder. Or as Colbert put it, " ...which Twitter seems to be fine with because I haven’t seen sh*t about that."
So everyone, let's put our energy into giving more sh*ts about what Dan Snyder said. Because that guy is terrible.
We also now have #MuffinsThatLookLikeHamburgers to get trending. Go come on Interwebs, get to work.
Images: Twitter; PandaWhale