Trevor Noah is facing backlash for joking about the tensions between India and Pakistan in a segment on The Daily Show.
Noah tackled the topic this week in one of his usual headline round-ups on the Comedy Central news-style series, detailing how India and Pakistan are in serious danger of going to war after a devastating terrorist attack on Valentine's Day killed 40 Indian troops. Amid the ongoing hostilities, Noah tried to imagine what a war between the two countries would look like.
"Obviously, I hope India and Pakistan don't go to war," he said. "But if they did go to war, it would probably be the most entertaining war of all time, yeah?"
I’ve really always liked ur humour @Trevornoah. Really have. And we In India have a good sense of humour. This still crosses a line. We’ve lost our forces to terror attacks. Somehow it doesn’t sound as funny. #JustSaying #TheDailyShow pic.twitter.com/qknBmi6qfd— Sonal Kalra (@sonalkalra) February 28, 2019
Noah went on to do a prolonged impression of sing-song gunfire with an Indian accent. He added that it would be "the longest war of all time" with "dance number" breaks, referencing India's booming Bollywood industry.
Many are outraged at Noah, feeling that the whole bit was insensitive. The outraged fans flooded to Twitter, admonishing Noah and even swearing off of his show in some cases.
"I've really always liked [your] humour [Trevor Noah]. Really have," wrote Indian journalist Sonal Kalra. "And we In India have a good sense of humour. This still crosses a line. We've lost our forces to terror attacks. Somehow it doesn't sound as funny. #JustSaying."
"Racist. Stereotypical. And downright offensive," added photographer Ritesh Uttamchandani. "It is true indeed, these days the moment you think someone is cool and wise, they do a [Trevor Noah] on you and flush down the entire goodwill!"
Noah finally responded to the outrage on Saturday, including the many fans who felt that his own history with violence should have led him to know better.
"Actually if you watch my stand up you'll see that I did make jokes after my mother was shot in the head," he wrote. "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."
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. //t.co/OuVnkHyIfG— Trevor Noah (@Trevornoah) March 2, 2019
"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," he added later. "Sometimes it seems like people are more offended by the jokes comedians make about an issue than the issue itself."