- Trevor Noah, 31, spoke out in defense of ‘anti-Semitic’ tweets on Tuesday
- Told two million followers they were not ‘a true reflection of my character’
- Added the ‘handful of jokes’ didn’t represent his ‘evolution as a comedian’
- Comes as Comedy Central has also defended the new South-African host
- The network said he was ‘provocative and ‘spares noone, himself included’
- Noah, who is a quarter Jewish, has been praised for cutting-edge humor
- One of his skits involves a ‘Black Hitler’; Jon Stewart approves of him
This is one of the five tweets dating back to 2009 that bloggers have been dragging up and complaining about
One Twitter user accused Noah’s remarks as being ‘a tad stereotyped’, as well as ‘borderline anti-Semitic’
Another user told Noah to ‘grow up’, adding he was ‘no longer a fan’ of the 31-year-old South African comedian
In a statement, the network said: ‘To judge him or his comedy based on a handful of jokes is unfair.’
It added: ‘Trevor is a talented comedian with a bright future at Comedy Central.’
Noah, the son of a half-Jewish Xhosa mother and a Swiss father, was a trending topic on Twitter on Monday night as he drew fire for jokes that were described as tasteless, hateful, and unfunny.
The controversial tweets were posted between 2009 and 2014. In May last year, Noah tweeted: ‘Behind every successful Rap Billionaire is a double as rich Jewish man. #BeatsByDreidel.’
Meanwhile, during a soccer match in January 2012, he joked: ‘Messi gets the ball and the real players try foul him, but Messi doesn’t go down easy, just like jewish chicks. #ElClasico.’
He also slammed the United States’ midsection in a 2013 tweet, writing that ‘When flying over the middle of America the turbulence is so bad. It’s like all the ignorance is rising through the air.’
And in 2009, Noah, who can speak an impressive six languages, wrote: ‘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!’
On Tuesday, the tweets were being posted online by enraged bloggers, who slammed Noah as ‘racist’. One said: ‘Jon Stewart, born Leibowitz, won’t be happy about these highly antisemitic tweets.’
Roseanne Barr was among those calling out the comic, who has a global following and two million Twitter followers, writing: ‘U should cease sexist & anti semitic ‘humor’ about jewish women & Israel.’
Meanwhile, a blogger posted Noah’s tweets in an article, with the comment: ‘Trevor Noah, the racist, hack taking over for Jon Stewart is also quite the anti-Semite too. Obama and progressive liberals really will love this guy. Among some of the skits that Trevor Noah came up with was the Black Hitler.’
However, one Twitter user, Jack Obora@JackObora, had a different opinion on the matter.
He tweeted: ‘Seriously who reads through six years of tweets to try and find something to be offended about? #TrevorNoah #DailyShow.’
Regardless of users’ opinions, the tweets showed a different side to Noah than the picture painted by Comedy Central and the comedian himself just a day earlier.
In a phone interview on Monday from Dubai, where he was traveling on a comedy tour, Noah – who is no stranger to tackling controversial issues on-air – likened himself to New York-born Stewart.
He said: ‘One thing we both share: We are both progressives,’ adding: ‘traveling the world I’ve learned that progressives, regardless of their locations, think in a global space.’
Noah, who joined The Daily Show just three months ago and speaks an impressive six languages, was being pitched by Comedy Central as reflecting a new age of global multiculturalism.
He is ‘a citizen of the world,’ in the words of Michele Ganeless, the network’s president. His dry, cutting humor was also singled out by producers as the winning formula to win over viewers.
According to The New York Times, a slew of better-known potential replacements chose to move on to competing networks. However, the reaction to his appointment was overwhelmingly positive.
Noah brings a wealth of hosting experience helping him, in Ganeless’ words, check ‘off every box’ on her network’s list of requirements. Also important: he has kindred spirit Stewart’s blessing.
‘All I needed in my life was Jon’s blessing. That’s what I have, so I’m looking forward to being part of The Best Damn News Show in the World,’ Noah told the Associated Press.
Although no dates have been disclosed, Stewart will likely depart by the end of the year. Noah, who grew up in Gauteng and starred on the South African soap opera, Isiding, will take over soon after.
‘They will get to discover him, and form their opinions of him, as they watch him host,’ he said.
But by Tuesday, some opinions were already forming.
Weighing in on Noah’s selection, a Slate column compared his vetting to that of Sarah Palin as a running mate for presidential candidate John McCain.
The choice of a new host for The Daily Show is a critical decision not only for the satirical-news program, but for the network, whose identity has largely been forged by the Daily Show franchise, which for years was followed by the likewise signature The Colbert Report.
By the end of this year, Comedy Central will have completely remade this programming block.
In January, African-American comic Larry Wilmore replaced the The Colbert Report hosting The Nightly Show.