Trevor Noah Says Samantha Bee and Roseanne Barr Comments 'Not the Same Thing'

The Daily Show host Trevor Noah sat down with Sunday TODAY anchor Willie Geist on Sunday, and discussed the recent controversies surrounding Roseanne Barr and Samantha Bee.

For those who missed it, ABC canceled Barr's sitcom Roseanne on May 29 after the actress posted a racist tweet comparing former President Barack Obama adviser Valerie Jarrett to a character from the Planet of the Apes franchise and a member of the Muslim Brotherhood.

That same week Samantha Bee caught outrage from viewers online when she called President Donald Trump's daughter Ivanka Trump a "feckless c—" during a segment about Trump's immigration policy on her show Full Frontal with Samantha Bee. Many, including Trump himself, demanded Bee fired as well but to no avail.

Noah said in his interview the two controversies were two different situations and should be evaluated as such.

"Comedy is context for me," Noah said. "Without context, comedy has not foothold."

"She (Bee) was trying to reclaim a word for women and I understand that logic," he continued. "What I didn't appreciate was people trying to create this equivalence between the two worlds. I think a white woman calling a white woman a word is not the same as a white person comparing a black person to an ape. We have to acknowledge that the power dynamic and the history of that relationship between the groups of people also plays into that. There is a larger story of oppression. There is a larger story of what we see 'til this day in terms of racial hatred. So, it's not the same thing, but I understand how people can be offended about different things in different ways."

Barr has apologized numerous times for the tweet and claimed she "begged" ABC network officials to not cancel the show. A spin-off of the show without Barr's involvement both on-screen and in the writer's room is reportedly being discussed.

Bee posted an apology for her comment the day after the episode aired.

"I would like to sincerely apologize to Ivanka Trump and to my viewers for using an expletive on my show to describe her last night," Bee tweeted. "It was inappropriate and inexcusable. I crossed a line, and I deeply regret it."

She opened up her next episode with another apology, directed at Trump and any women who were offended by her using the word.

TBS posted its own apology regarding the episode, though it made no mention of pulling Bee or her show off the air.


"Samantha Bee has taken the right action in apologizing for the vile and inappropriate language she used about Ivanka Trump last night," the network wrote. "Those words should not have been aired. It was our mistake too, and we regret it."

Photo Credit: