Responding to the comedy controversy sparked by past Trevor Noah jokes about Jews and women, “Daily Show” correspondent Aasif Mandvi poured cold water on the whole thing.
“I think its more a question about Twitter,” the “Daily Show” correspondent said at a LinkedIn event Tuesday. I think it’s much ado about nothing, first of all. The guy made some sort of, you know, off-color, irresponsible tweets, but he was trying to be funny.”
Some of the jokes Mandvi thinks were off-color and irresponsible included slights against Israel, poking fun at overweight women and sexual jokes about “Jewish chicks.”
But Mandvi thinks the jokes land better with certain age groups and the controversy is more about Twitter than Noah:
“I think the millennials understand this more than the people who are sort of upset about this. Which is this sense of, what is Twitter in our culture? Is Twitter just a constant sort of…. Is it just disposable? You know what I mean? There’s gonna be a presidential candidate 25 years from now, who’s gonna be running for president. Are we going to go back and look at his Twitter feed from when he was 14 years old? Because he’s gonna have a lot of really stupid things in there, you know?”
The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) came out Tuesday supporting Noah, but cautioning for him to not cross the line.
“We welcome Trevor Noah to his new endeavor at ‘The Daily Show’ and wish him success,” Abraham H. Foxman said on Tuesday. “We hope he will not cross the line from legitimate satire into offensiveness with jokes calling up anti-Semitic stereotypes and misogyny.”
For Noah’s part, he tweeted not to reduce his comedy to a handful of jokes gone wrong.
To reduce my views to a handful of jokes that didn’t land is not a true reflection of my character, nor my evolution as a comedian.
— Trevor Noah (@Trevornoah) March 31, 2015
Mandvi concluded that culture—and Twitter—can’t descend into poking into every little thing artists have said in the past:
“It feels to me like, are we gonna hold artists, comedians, whatever it is, responsible for stuff they say on Twitter? You can if you want, but I don’t know what that means about our culture, you know?”
“I don’t think we’ve quite decided, what does Twitter mean? Because you could read that and act like he said that yesterday, and it defines him now. Do we all want that? You know what I mean? Do you want your kids going into a job interview and being defined by the Facebook post they put on Facebook when they were 15?
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