The past few days have been rough for Twitter reactions and out-of-context satire. The internet—well, part of it, anyway—got out its torches and pitchforks on Thursday night when the The Colbert Report's official Twitter feed clicked "Tweet" on the following:
(That's a .jpg and not a direct link, because the account was deleted during Monday's show.) OMG so offensive, right? Well, it was part of a larger bit from the Thursday show that of course wasn't included in the tweet. Such is the paradox of Twitter: Almost every tweet is out of context, because contextualizing something in the span of 140 characters doesn't always work. The line above was from Wednesday's show; it was part of a bit about Washington Redskins owner Dan Snyder starting a foundation called "The Washington Redskins Original Americans Foundation," a charity for Native Americans. Snyder, who's a huge asshole (IMO), created the organization in response to repeated calls for the Washington Redskins to change its name. "Redskins" is a derogatory slur aimed at Native Americans, yet Snyder and supporters of the name can't see that. So Snyder shoved it in their faces—or, and this is very possible, he's just THAT stupid—when he included the term in the name of the foundation that's supposed to support Native Americans.
Stephen Colbert's response to The Washington Redskins Original Americans Foundation was to shine a light on its inherent insensitivity with his own horrible name for a foundation, and thus The Ching-Chong Ding-Dong Foundation for Sensitivity to Orientals or Whatever was born. (For what it's worth, I'm of Asian heritage, and I found the idea hilarious.) That was during Wednesday's show; on Thursday, the @ColbertReport Twitter account, which is run by a promotional department at Comedy Central and not Colbert himself, tweeted the joke, but didn't add a link to the original bit or provide any context. An Asian-American activist group picked up the tweet and started a campaign to get The Colbert Report canceled, and before long, the #CancelColbert brouhaha was in full swing.
Because Thursday's episode had already taped and The Colbert Report doesn't have a Friday show, Colbert wasn't able to respond until last night—at which point he spent a whole show on it. Watch the intro—which features BD Wong in a near reenactment of his Awake character—and first desk bit from last night and take a stand on this atrocity/misunderstanding!
Let's hear it, America! Big deal or no big deal?
AIRED ON 12/18/2014
Season 11 : Episode 40