New ‘Daily Show’ host in ‘racist, sex­ist’ joke scan­dal

The China Post - - ARTS - BY MAR­I­ANO AN­DRADE

Newly anointed “The Daily Show” host Trevor Noah faced mount­ing crit­i­cism on Tues­day af­ter the emer­gence of sev­eral past so­cial me­dia posts ac­cused of be­ing racist, sex­ist and anti-Semitic.

The 31-year-old South African co­me­dian, largely un­known in the United States, was named by Com­edy Cen­tral tele­vi­sion on Mon­day as the suc­ces­sor to long-serv­ing “Daily Show” star Jon Ste­wart.

How­ever a firestorm of con­tro­versy was rag­ing around Noah’s ap­point­ment af­ter the emer­gence of a se­ries of jokes made on the comic’s Twit­ter timeline.

In one post from 2009, Noah ap­pears to take aim at the Holo­caust, tweet­ing to fol­low­ers: “Al­most bumped a Jewish kid cross­ing the road. He didn’t look b4 cross­ing but I still would hav felt so bad in my ger­man car!”

An­other post ap­peared to be a barb at Is­rael’s for­eign pol­icy: “South Africans know how to re­cy­cle like is­rael knows how to be peace­ful.”

In an­other off-color post, Noah, who has a black mother and a white fa­ther, makes a raunchy ob­ser­va­tion about Cau­casian women.

“A hot white woman with ass is like a uni­corn. Even if you do see one, you’ll prob­a­bly never get to ride it,” he writes.

A later post from 2012 re­ferred to vi­o­lence to­wards women: “Orig­i­nally when men pro­posed they went down on one knee so if the woman said no they were in the per­fect up­per­cut po­si­tion.”

The posts earned blis­ter­ing crit­i­cism on­line.

“I’m not got go­ing to watch a Daily Show that’s hosted by an anti-Semite,” tweeted one New York-based jour­nal­ist, Mar­shall Hono­rof.

Jamie We­in­stein, an edi­tor with the Daily Caller, sug­gested Noah’s tweet about Is­rael “does seem to sug­gest that Noah be­lieves Is­rael is an in­her­ently bel­liger­ent coun­try ...”

Noah ‘pushes bound­aries’

The Anti-Defama­tion League mean­while wished Noah suc­cess in his new role at “The Daily Show,” but said some of the co­me­dian’s past tweets played into “clas­sic anti-Semitic stereo­types.”

“We need hu­mor — per­haps now more than ever — and we hope that he will build on Jon Ste­wart’s great le­gacy,” ADL na­tional direc­tor Abra­ham Fox­man said in a state­ment.

“We hope that he will not cross the line from le­git­i­mate satire into of­fen­sive­ness with jokes call­ing up anti-Semitic stereo­types and misog­yny,” Fox­man added, urg­ing Noah to avoid “big­oted jokes” tar­get­ing Jews, other mi­nori­ties and women.

Other Twit­ter users mean­while ex­pressed sur­prise that Noah had not qui­etly purged his timeline be­fore his ap­point­ment was an­nounced.

“Weird that Trevor Noah didn’t do a quick Twit­ter cleanup be­fore get­ting the job,” wrote Tom Gara, the edi­tor of Buz­zfeed’s busi­ness news site.

Com­edy Cen­tral ap­peared un­moved by crit­i­cism it branded as “un­fair,” of­fer­ing staunch sup­port to Noah in a state­ment.

“Like many co­me­di­ans, Trevor Noah pushes bound­aries; he is provoca­tive and spares no one, him­self in­cluded,” the net­work said.

“To judge him or his com­edy based on a hand­ful of jokes is un­fair. Trevor is a tal­ented co­me­dian with a bright fu­ture at Com­edy Cen­tral.”

“The Daily Show” has been led by Ste­wart for the past 16 years, and be­come an in­flu­en­tial source of news and views for a younger au­di­ence that those tun­ing into straight news broad­cast­ing.

In mid-Fe­bru­ary, Ste­wart an­nounced he would leave the pro­gram, which re­lent­lessly pokes fun at politi­cians, cur­rent events and main­stream ca­ble news.

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