#CancelColbert? Take a deep breath, Twitterverse
Apparently, Twitter is no place for satire. However, it's swell for kneejerk reactions. On Thursday, The Colbert Report, tweeting in the guise of comic host Stephen Colbert, responded to news that controversial Washington Redskins owner Dan Snyder was starting something called the Original Americans Foundation. Apparently the Comedy Central crew felt that Snyder, whose team name has been attacked for racial insensitivity, was being a bit transparent in his desires. So @ColbertReport fired out this zinger to 1 million followers:
"I am willing to show #Asian community I care by introducing the Ching-Chong Ding-Dong Foundation for Sensitivity to Orientals or Whatever."
Soon enough, a #CancelColbert hashtag, with accompanying vitriol, was spreading all over the Twitterverse. Never mind that Colbert, who portrays a clueless right-wing blowhard on his hit show, had previously assumed the character of Ching-Chong Ding-Dong to shed satirical light on the boneheaded racism of which he was now being accused.
Where The Colbert Report has since erred is in its misplaced deniability. Now everyone (including the host himself) is saying Colbert did not in fact pen the tweet. But by doing that, they're admitting that something WAS wrong with the tweet in the first place. So someone should be blamed? Bad logic there. It was a self-referential gag trying to skewer Snyder -- stick to your guns, guys.
Anyway, the original tweet has since been deleted, but the #CancelColbert movement continues to blossom. One woman wrote: "#CancelColbert because white liberals are just as complicit in making Asian Americans into punchlines and we aren't amused."
In a somewhat smartalecky response, @ColbertReport tweeted: "For the record @ColbertReport is not controlled by Stephen Colbert or his show. He is @StephenAtHome Sorry for the confusion #CancelColbert."