Stephen Colbert addressed the controversial comments that led to a campaign calling for his firing from CBS’s “Late Show.” And while he admits he would have changed some wording, he won’t back down from what he said.
The host wasted no time in touching on the social-media campaign using the hashtag “#FireColbert.”
“Welcome to ‘The Late Show.’ I’m your host, Stephen Colbert. Still? I am still the host? I’m still the host!” he began Wednesday’s episode.
The uproar was the result of comments he made during Monday’s passionate “Late Show” monologue, which went viral online. In it, he stood up for CBS reporter and friend John Dickerson, whose interview with Trump was cut short by the president after he was repeatedly questioned about his allegations that President Barack Obama had ordered the wiretapping of Trump Tower during the campaign.
Among the insults Colbert directed at Trump, he said, “The only thing your mouth is good for is being Vladimir Putin’s c–k holster,” which raised the eyebrows of many viewers.
“Now, if you saw my monologue Monday, you know that I was a little upset at Donald Trump for insulting a friend of mine,” Colbert said on Wednesday night. “So at the end of that monologue I had a few choice insults for the president in return. I don’t regret that. He, I believe, can take care of himself. I have jokes; he has the launch codes. So it’s a fair fight.”
What may have started as outrage from LGBTQ rights supporters in response to the “c–k holster” comment that they considered homophobic was then adopted by Trump supporters who jumped on the #FireColbert campaign in response to the entire monologue and the host’s ongoing sharp criticism of the president.
Colbert has faced a campaign for his termination before, during his Comedy Central days, over a joke some viewed as racist. And in light of the new Trump joke, he did want to make sure his viewers knew exactly where he stood on LGBTQ rights.
“So while I would do it again, I would change a few words that were cruder than they needed to be,” Colbert said. “I’m not going to repeat the phrase, but I just want to say for the record, life is short, and anyone who expresses their love for another person, in their own way, is to me, an American hero. I think we can all agree on that. I hope even the president and I can agree on that. Nothing else, but that.”
Watch Colbert address the controversial comments below:
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