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Comedy Central is standing by Trevor Noah, the South African comedian it’s chosen to replace Jon Stewart as host of The Daily Show. Just hours after Noah was appointed to one of the most influential positions in American TV, he was already the at the centre of a controversy surrounding his old tweets.
Fans of the show scouring Noah’s tweets found a handful that they felt were offensive to women, Jewish people, and Israelis.
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!
— Trevor Noah (@Trevornoah) September 18, 2009
— Dani Klein (@YeahThatsKosher) March 30, 2015
— DAVID DRAIMAN (@DAVIDMDRAIMAN) March 31, 2015
In a statement, the network comedy channel defended its decision to hire Noah as well as his chops as a comedian.
“Trevor Noah pushes boundaries; he is provocative and spares no one, himself included.
“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.”
For his part, Noah responded via Twitter, saying that to judge him on his previous tweets would be unfair:
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.
— Trevor Noah (@Trevornoah) March 31, 2015
While many were offended, others defended Noah with a fair few wondering what Americans would make of Scottish comedian Frankie Boyle.
— Mohammad Alsaafin (@malsaafin) March 31, 2015
— Candice Diemer (@cultcandy) March 31, 2015
— Shaun Wewege (@shaunwewege) March 31, 2015