It's hard to find the humor in The Colbert Report's recent tweet.
In a message posted Thursday at 4:02 p.m., the satirical news program's official Twitter account made a racist joke. The tweet, which has since been deleted, read: "I am willing to show #Asian community I care by introducing the Ching-Chong Ding-Dong Foundation for Sensitivity to Orientals or Whatever."
"Ching-Chong Ding-Dong" is a reference to an Asian caricature Colbert has assumed on the show. The joke was part of a longer segment on Wednesday's episode about Washington Redskins owner Dan Snyder's new charity effort, which is meant soften the perpetual criticism of the team's racist name.
Needless to say, the show's tweet didn't make much sense of out context.
Twitter users accused host Stephen Colbert of writing the tweet and rallied to #CancelColbert. Via his personal Twitter account, the comedian responded to the internet controversy late Thursday. "#CancelColbert - I agree! Just saw @ColbertReport tweet. I share your rage. Who is that, though? I'm @StephenAtHome," the 49-year-old told his 6.11 million followers on the social networking site.
The Colbert Report addressed the incident, too, tweeting, "This is a Comedy Central account, with no oversight from Stephen/show." It also tweeted, "For the record @ColbertReport is not controlled by Stephen Colbert or his show. He is @StephenAtHome Sorry for the confusion #CancelColbert."
Here's what people had to say about the controversy on Twitter:
I'm sick of my daughter's ethnicity being a punchline. It sure wasn't funny for her when she was mocked in kindergarten. #CancelColbert? Amy D. Cubbage (@amydcubbage) March 28, 2014
White logic: Prove you aren't racist by using all sort of racist and sexist slurs in my mentions. Totally makes sense. #CancelColbert? Suey Park (@suey_park) March 28, 2014
Humor is the most effective way to elicit change in a society. #CancelColbert is a hashtag full of people who forget that.? Dan Myers (@Danbo_4) March 28, 2014
If we #CancelColbert, who would satire the blatant racism in the Redskins name? I can?t help but feel the internet is mad at the wrong guy?? Amy Abdelsayed (@AmyAbdel) March 28, 2014
Good humor punches up, at the powerful. Lazy humor relies on racist stereotypes. Apologize and do better. #CancelColbert? Shane Landrum (@cliotropic) March 28, 2014
When satire becomes as offensive and hurtful as the thing satirized it is no longer satire. It is simply more injustice. #cancelcolbert? Arlene Adamo (@ArleneAdamo) March 28, 2014