John Oliver’s disgust at Tucker Carlson is well documented. One need only look at how Oliver ripped the Fox News host over his defense of Kenosha shooter Kyle Rittenhouse to know that there’s no love lost there. And especially when Tucker gets all ragey about what he feels is destructions of childhood icons, like when Elmo showed support for Black Lives Matter, Tucker loses it. So naturally, the so-called “cancelling” of Dr. Seuss (according to right-wing figures including Don Jr. complaining with Fox and Friends hosts) really got under Tucker’s skin.
Well, the Last Week Tonight host isn’t here for how Tucker tried to rewrite what actually happened. Not only did the “cancellation” of six Dr. Seuss titles happen because Dr. Seuss Enterprises (a private company, yes) decided to stop publishing these titles because of racially insensitive imagery that resulted in “hurtful” portrayals, but Tucker completely glossed over the actual titles (And to Think That I Saw It on Mulberry Street, If I Ran the Zoo, McElligot’s Pool, On Beyond Zebra!, Scrambled Eggs Super!, and The Cat’s Quizzer) that got yanked because, yeah, those books weren’t a good look.
“Given how strongly all of those commentators were defending those books, it is worth knowing exactly what they’re defending,” said Oliver while showing how some of the pulled books caricatured an Asian man that’s drawn as yellow and African people represented as monkeys. “Are these things we really want to fight for kids to see?” wondered Oliver. “To be honest, I’m squeamish about showing them to you right now, and just three minutes ago, I was more than happy to subject you to a basketball arena jizz storm.”
And with that, Oliver took issue with Tucker complaining that “cancel culture” proponents are “really trying to eliminate is a very specific kind of mid-century American culture. A culture that championed meritocracy and colorblindness.”
The host had had enough. “Okay, first: shut the f*ck up, Tucker, you fearmongering lacrosse injury,” he ranged. “And second, it’s a little weird to claim that mid-century American culture championed colorblindness when signs from the times explicitly demanded the opposite.” Oliver then showed a telling photo of segregated water fountains. Enough said.
(Via Last Week Tonight)