In people clearly not understanding the basic idea of satire nor differentiating between network and personal Twitter accounts news, Twitter’s all fired up over a joke made by Comedy Central’s Colbert Report Twitter account.
And by “joke,” we mean a reference to a previously aired bit.
The tweet has since been deleted, but here’s a screenshot (with some added commentary):
— Ray William Johnson (@RayWJ) March 28, 2014
“I am willing to show #Asian community I care by introducing the Ching-Chong Ding-Dong Foundation for Sensitivity to Orientals or Whatever,” read the tweet.
The hashtag #CancelColbert has been trending all day, with some tweets expressing anger over the “offensive” joke tweet, and others expressing the sheer lunacy of the former.
The outrage seems to have stemmed from (or at least has been centered on) Twitter user Suey Park. Taking a trip through her recent Twitter activity not only shows her disdain for the Colbert tweet, but also highlights the incredibly rude and racist vitriol being spit in her direction.
Before we get into any discussion on the merits or lack thereof over outrage at the tweet, it’s important to distinguish between the Colbert Report Twitter account and Stephen Colbert’s personal Twitter account. The former made the tweet, not the latter–a point which both Stephen Colbert and the Colbert Report accounts were quick to point out:
— Stephen Colbert (@StephenAtHome) March 28, 2014
— The Colbert Report (@ColbertReport) March 28, 2014
Also, the tweet in question is actually just a rehash of a bit Colbert did earlier in the week. Check out the full segment below:
Ok guys, the point here really isn’t whether or not you thought to “joke” was funny, offensive, or whatever. The point is not even that it wasn’t Colbert making the tweet. The point is that this sort of comedy–ratcheting up ridiculous discourse to the nth degree, thus rendering it completely innocuous–is what Stephen Colbert has been doing for years. Though some might argue that it’s not innocuous, you have to remember than Colbert plays a character on his show–a xenophobic, pompous caricature of the ugly American.
Nobody watching the clip from where the tweet comes could honestly say that they feel Stephen Colbert (the actual person) or Comedy Central actually supports this. The tweet was taken out of context, and if anything was just a dumb move that Comedy Central should have seen coming.
Oh, there’s also the fact that it’s comedy. As Louis C.K. said when defending Tracy Morgan against backlash for a so-called offensive joke, “He was on a comedy stage, not at a pulpit.”
If this tweet and The Colbert Report segment from which it’s derived is terribly offensive to you, I really hope you don’t go back and watch old episodes of The Colbert Report. You’re not going to like what you find.
And on a final note, people need to stop spewing bullshit at people on Twitter for expressing their views. This is why we can’t have nice things, people.
@suey_park HONESTLY THOUGH KILL YOURSELF INA VAT OF CRAB RANGOONS
— George JR (@dasGEORGE1) March 28, 2014
You’re not a comedian, and that’s not satire. You’re just an asshole.
Image via The Colbert Report, Video Screenshot