Comedian and host of American TV show The Daily Show, Trevor Noah, has apologised after a Twitter user accused him of mocking the India-Pakistan tensions.
In an episode of The Daily Show, Noah said if the two countries go to war, then it would be the “most entertaining war of all time” and that “it would also be the longest war of all time – another dance number!” Noah suggested that Indian soldiers going to war would be like a musical.
Noah received backlash on social media, with people calling his comments insensitive and offensive. One Twitter user on Saturday said it was “sad when someone who’s had a violent past mocks war through a Bollywood stereotype”. “Trevor Noah’s mother was shot in the head by her husband (Trevor’s stepfather),” the user tweeted. “Imagine someone making fun of it with a Xhosa stereotype - the tribe his mum belongs to.”
In a tweet late on Saturday night, Noah said he did make jokes about his mother being shot in the head and that comedy helps process pain and discomfort. “...but I am sorry that this hurt you and other, that’s not what I was trying to do,” he said.
In another tweet, Noah said it was “amazing” how his joke about the conflict between the two countries trended more than story of the conflict itself. “Sometimes it seems like people are more offended by the jokes comedians make about an issue than the issue itself,” he said.
Actress Swara Bhasker too had criticised Noah for his comments on the episode. “It was lazy [and] patronising [and] reeking of first world arrogance [and] colonial stereotypes,” she tweeted on Sunday.
Another user said the comments were “racist”, “stereotypical” and “downright offensive”. Some users criticised him for not taking the situation between India and Pakistan seriously.