TV funnyman Stephen Colbert might be finding out how it feels when something goes viral in a bad way.
On Wednesday's Colbert Report, the satirist made fun of Washington Redskins owner Dan Snyder's recently announced Washington Redskins Original Americans Foundation. Snyder created the charity "to provide resources that offer genuine opportunities for Tribal communities," according to a press release, but Colbert mocked it as an attempt at positive PR for the NFL team and its controversial name, which many consider to be racist.
Playing off of Wednesday's segment, the verified Twitter account for The Colbert Show, which is often written in the persona of the blowhard TV-host character Colbert portrays, posted this tweet on Thursday to its 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.— The Colbert Report (@ColbertReport) March 27, 2014
"Ching-Chong Ding-Dong" is a reference to a satirical Asian caricature Colbert has assumed on the show in the past, including a January 2011 segment attacking Rush Limbaugh. It was also part of Wednesday's segment about the Redskins.
After outrage erupted on the social network, the tweet was deleted, but not before the #CancelColbert hashtag started trending.
Many minorities were angered by the tweet:
#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
#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
I just dont understand whats so hard about admitting @redskins is racist, without throwing other groups under the bus? #cancelcolbert — Dani (@xodanix3) March 28, 2014
Et tu, Stephen? Not funny. It doesn't prove your point. It makes you "no better" than the racists. https://t.co/X4FYwJ0l28 #cancelcolbert — Arnesa (@_arnesa_) March 28, 2014
Late Thursday night, the Colbert Report Twitter account sent out this tweet:
For the record @ColbertReport is not controlled by Stephen Colbert or his show. He is @StephenAtHome Sorry for the confusion #CancelColbert
Around 12:30, the Colbert Report Twitter account sent this tweet:
This is a Comedy Central promotional account, with no oversight from Stephen or his show, that quoted a line out of context. #cancelcolbert
And just after midnight, Colbert posted the following on his personal Twitter account:
#CancelColbert - I agree! Just saw @ColbertReport tweet. I share your rage.
Who is that, though? I'm @StephenAtHome http://thecolbertreport.cc.com/videos/b6cwb3/sport-report---professional-soccer-toddler--golf-innovations---washington-redskins-charm-offensive …
On Twitter early Friday, Stephen Colbert wrote that the offending tweet sent from his Comedy Central show's verified Twitter account was not written by him. He also says he's unaware who wrote it. The Colbert Show Twitter account also sent out tweets early Friday denying he had anything to do with the tweet.