The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) isn’t exactly sweating incoming “Daily Show” host Trevor Noah’s years-old tweets, which some are labeling anti-Semitic and misogynistic.
That said, National Director Abraham H. Foxman hopes “legitimate satire” doesn’t cross into “offensiveness” terrain.
“We welcome Trevor Noah to his new endeavor at ‘The Daily Show’ and wish him success,” Abraham H. Foxman said on Tuesday. “We need humor — perhaps now more than ever — and we hope that he will build on Jon Stewart’s great legacy.”
“We understand that comedians often use humor to poke fun at stereotypes and to push the envelope of political correctness, and it seems that many if not most of the tweets sent by Trevor Noah over the years fall into those categories,” he continued.
Comedy Central defended its newest late-night face on Tuesday.
“Like many comedians, Trevor Noah pushes boundaries; he is provocative and spares no one, himself included, the cable network told TheWrap Tuesday. “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 ADL’s Foxman believes that future can be solid as well, so long as Noah does not “cross the line.”
“We hope he will not cross the line from legitimate satire into offensiveness with jokes calling up anti-Semitic stereotypes and misogyny,” Foxman concluded. “And we hope that he and Comedy Central will make a conscious effort to ensure that ‘The Daily Show’ remains funny and irreverent without trafficking in bigoted jokes at the expense of Jews, other minorities and women.
On Tuesday, Noah briefly tweeted out a self-defense, writing “Twitter does not have enough characters to respond to all of the characters on Twitter.” He somewhat swiftly deleted that post.
Some of the old tweets in question include the following from 2010: “South Africans know how to recycle like Israelis know how to be peaceful.”
Here’s another: “Oh yea, the weekend. People are gonna get drunk & think that I’m sexy!
–fat chicks everywhere.”