The Colbert Report: I'm not racist
In the public eye, you can’t go much worse than being labelled a racist. Unless you’re Stephen Colbert, that is; if you’re Stephen Colbert you can use facts, common sense and trademark wit to change your perception in a matter of days. Short version: this has been excellently and expertly dealt with.
The right to be smug: Stephen Colbert
You need reminding what happened, obviously. On March 27, The Colbert Report’s official Twitter account got the righteous people of Twitter all worked up when, “I am willing to show #Asian community I care by introducing the Ching-Chong Ding-Dong Foundation for Sensitivity to Orientals or Whatever” was posted.
Out of context – as many have noted – this looks like a racist thing to say. But within the context of The Colbert Report, which saw the ‘Ching-Chong Ding-Dong’ joke utilised many times (it was even posted on Facebook with a link to the video and no one gave a turd) it’s safe to assume Cobert isn’t racist.
Monday’s Colbert Report addressed the situation with the opening segment of the show. “The Cancel Colbert people think that even in context, I am racist. I just want to say I am not a racist. I don't even see race, not even my own. People tell me I'm white and I believe them because I just spent six minutes explaining how I am not a racist- and that is about the whitest thing you could do,” he said.
“We almost lost me,” added Colbert in the hilarious segment. “I’m never going to take me for granted. Who would have thought that a means of communication limited to 140 characters would ever create misunderstanding?”
The end of the segment, which also aimed to end the whole went along the line of this: “That ends that controversy. I just pray that no one tweets about the time I said that Rosa Parks was overrated, Hitler had some good ideas or ran a cartoon during Black History Month showing President Obama teaming up with the Ku Klux Klan because, man, that sounds pretty bad out of context.”
So Colbert, there, with a lesson on how things out of context can seem ridiculous and, more importantly, bad, when they’re in fact satirical and hugely funny. Colbert, too, gave an impeccable lesson on how to deal with a crisis like this.
Stephen Colbert waving goobye to the haters