Stephen Colbert devoted much of his show last night to responding/satirizing the #CancelColbert movement that took off on Twitter last week in response to an out-of-context joke posted by a web editor he’s never met running a Twitter account for The Colbert Report that Stephen Colbert doesn’t control. After leading with a segment about the outrage the “diversity mafia” has drummed up about the lack of diversity in emoji, Colbert criticized the “dark forces” that tried to take him down.
Reiterating that it was the “brain trust” on the network, and not him, that put out the offending, out-of-context tweet, Colbert added:
“The dark forces trying to silence my message of core conservative principles mixed with youth-friendly product placement have been thwarted.”
He also reminded viewers that the person who made the statement on the show was a “character,” and that the episode in which he made the statement was on Wednesday, it aired four times on Thursday, went up on Facebook, and only on Thursday night after the tweet went up without linking to the original source or mentioning that it was inspired by the Washington Redskins did the “twit hit the fan … Who would’ve thought a means of communication limited to 140 characters would ever cause a misunderstanding?”
He also asked that people please stop attacking the hashtag activist, Suey Park, that began the controversy, saying “she’s just speaking her mind, that’s what Twitter is for, as well as ruining the ending of every show I haven’t seen yet.”
He also assured viewers who think he’s a racist even in context, that he’s most certainly not. “I don’t even see race, not even my own,” he said. “People tell me I’m white and I believe them because I just spent six minutes explaining how I’m not a racist!”
He also took the media to task. The controversy was “picked up by a small group of Americans who get their information only from Twitter, the news media,” Colbert said. “CNN even took a break from their Malaysian airliner coverage to report spotting what they thought was the wreckage of my show off the coast of Australia.”
“To 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 ended the segment by essentially saying that it was preposterous that he was being attacked for all of this, but that no one said “sh*t” about The Washington Redskins owner, Dan Snyder, the racist at the heart of this entire controversy.
“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.”
Here’s Colbert talking about the controversy.
And here’s his mea culpa.
And here’s the Emoji opening.