Stephen Colbert is not going anywhere. The comic addressed the #CancelColbert controversy in Monday night’s episode, saying “I’m still here,” but also offering a mea culpa in a segment where he drank beer throughout.
“Who would have thought a means of communication limited to 140 characters could ever create misunderstandings?” Colbert asked.
Some backstory: On Wednesday during “The Colbert Report,” the comic joked he would be starting his own charity — “The Ching-Chong Ding-Dong Foundation for Sensitivity to Orientals or Whatever” — in reference to the creation of a charity by Washington Redskins owner Dan Snyder. As is Colbert’s style, the joke was a biting attack on Snyder’s own charity. But a promotional Twitter account, run by Comedy Central, tweeted out the reference without context. Within hours, the hashtag #CancelColbert was trending.
“When I saw the tweet with no context, I understood how people were offended,” Colbert said during Monday’s show. “The same way I as an Irish-American was offended after reading only one line of Jonathan Swift’s ‘A Modest Proposal.’ I mean, Eat Irish babies? #CancelSwift. Trend it.”
Colbert also defended the so-called hashtag activist Suey Park, who originally started the trend. “If anyone is attacking her for me, just stop right now,” Colbert said.
The comic also mocked Michelle Malkin for getting involved, as well as the news media for picking up on the story. “The system worked,” Colbert said sarcastically.
“I just pray that no one ever tweets about the time I said Rosa Parks was overrated, Hitler had some good ideas, or ran a cartoon during Black History Month showing Barack Obama teaming up the Klu Klux Klan because man, that sounds pretty bad out of context,” Colbert said.
With Twitter’s founder Biz Stone, Colbert shut down the account @TheColbertReport that tweeted the original offending tweet. Colbert and Stone talked about “hashtag activism” and the reach of Twitter. Twitter, Colbert said, “has become an incredibly thing. It’s taken down dictators around the world, but it hasn’t taken down me.”