Late Thursday night, Twitter users called upon Comedy Central to cancel The Colbert Report after the show's official Twitter account published a joke that some found offensive. “I am willing to show #Asian community I care by introducing the Ching-Chong Ding-Dong Foundation for Sensitivity to Orientals or Whatever,” read the now-deleted tweet, sent by the show’s account run by Comedy Central, and not Colbert’s personal one.
The joke was part of a longer segment on last Wednesday night’s show about Washington Redskins owner Dan Snyder’s newest charity effort, which is meant defuse now-perpetual criticism of the team’s racist name. It does not read very well out of context, which is probably why it was deleted and the network then clarified the source of the joke about Asian stereotypes.
(The Redskins bit begins at 4:45. Comedy Central's embed video appears to be overwhelmed today, but you can watch the segment on their website.)
The #CancelColbert hashtag was started by Suey Park (previously of #NotYourAsianSidekick) on Thursday night in response to the comedic misfire.
#CancelColbert because white liberals are just as complicit in making Asian Americans into punchlines and we aren't amused.— Suey Park (@suey_park) March 27, 2014
Colbert himself weighed in:
Whether the joke was offensive or not is really up to personal taste, but the line isn’t particularly surprising. Colbert’s entire schtick is playing a more overt caricature of conservative talking heads, making their implicit racism explicit in what is now an extended, decade-long bit. That one line — when divorced from context — appeared to just be a racist quip possibly illustrates the point. It's cranking offensiveness up so far as to be inherently unbelievable. Again, react however you choose, but this sort of thing is Colbert’s bread and butter..