Late-night talk show host Trevor Noah has apologised for his comments over heightened tensions between India and Pakistan, saying the hurt caused was unintentional only to later make light of the situation again.
Noah received flak on social media for his comments which were called “racist”, “stereotypical” and “offensive”.
In an episode of “The Daily Show”, the host said the two nations going to war would be “most entertaining” and “it would also be the longest war of all time – another dance number!“.
The host made his case using a what many have called a cliche that the war cry of the Indian soldiers would also be a musical.
Noah, 35, apologised after one of the Twitter users criticised him, saying “It’s sad when someone who’s had a violent past mocks war through a Bollywood stereotype. @Trevornoah’s mother was shot in the head by her husband (Trevor’s stepfather). Imagine someone making fun of it with a Xhosa stereotype – the tribe his mum belongs to.”
He responded saying using comedy was his way of processing “pain and discomfort” and that he has joked in the past about his mother being shot in the head.
“Actually if you watch my stand up you’ll see that I did make jokes after my mother was shot in the head. As a comedian I use comedy to process pain and discomfort in my world but I am sorry that this hurt you and others, that’s not what I was trying to do,” the comic tweeted Saturday.
In a following tweet, however, Noah defended his comments, saying it was “amazing” how his joke trended more on the social media than the actual conflict.
“It’s amazing to me that my joke about the conflict in India and Pakistan trended more than the story of the actual conflict itself. Sometimes it seems like people are more offended by the jokes comedians make about an issue than the issue itself,” he wrote.
Personalities such as actor Swara Bhasker and comic Mallika Dua also slammed Noah for his comments.
“@Trevornoah 1. War isn’t funny or entertaining. 2. Hindi is not gibberish. Your stereotype of Indo-Pak is ignorant,” Bhasker wrote, adding she was a fan but the writing was “lazy” and “arrogant“.
Dua called the remarks “shockingly unintelligent and tone deaf“.
“What makes it sadder is that @Trevornoah cracked such a below average, shit joke. Something Russel Peters probably threw in the bin before his first open mic in life. If you’re going to be a racist comic then at least get the comic bit right,” she tweeted.