New ‘Daily Show’ host Trevor Noah responds to critics amid backlash over tweets
NEW YORK — Just one day after the formal announcement he would be succeeding Jon Stewart as host of “The Daily Show,” comedian Trevor Noah is now facing social media backlash after Twitter users dug up some old jokes he had posted to the site that targeted women and Jews.
Some of the tweets under scrutiny date back nearly six years.
In one example from 2009, Noah tweeted from a verified account, “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!”
In 2011 Noah joked on Twitter, “I like women that don’t wear make up. For me they’re like pizza- still great the next morning!”
Another post from 2011 read, “‘Oh yeah the weekend. People are gonna get drunk & think that I’m sexy!’ – fat chicks everywhere”; and another, “A hot white woman with [a behind] is like a unicorn. Even if you do see one, you’ll probably never get to ride it.”
Many of the past examples exposed on social media targeted women, Jews and Israel.
“South Africans know how to recycle like israel knows how to be peaceful,” a tweet from 2010 read.
Noah, who is from South Africa, was named the next host of “The Daily Show” on Monday, a little more than a month after Stewart unexpectedly announced he was leaving the show following 16 years as its host.
The son of a black South African mother and white European father, Noah has an international presence, and hosted a late-night talk show in South Africa, “Tonight with Trevor Noah.”
What began as an outpouring of support, however, quickly turned to controversy as many criticized the comedian for his past tweets.
Comedy Central is standing by Stewart’s replacement, however.
“Like many comedians, Trevor Noah pushes boundaries; he is provocative and spares no one, himself included,” the network said in a statement 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.”
According to multiple reports, Noah, apparently aware of the criticism, tweeted Tuesday morning, “Twitter does not have enough characters to respond to all the characters on Twitter.”
That tweet was later deleted, but Noah took to Twitter again Tuesday afternoon, writing, “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.”