Stephen Colbert doesn’t apologize for ‘homophobic’ Trump joke

Credit: CBS/Late Show
Credit: CBS/Late Show /

Late Show host Stephen Colbert didn’t apologize for what many have called a homophonic joke, but did express regret for offending those who were.

Stephen Colbert wasted no time in addressing a story that has grabbed headlines all week long. If you haven’t heard by now, earlier this week Colbert led off an episode with Late Show with a profanity-laced rant about Donald Trump and the frustrations surrounding his first 100 days in office as President off the United States.

While not everyone was a fan of the tone, the backlash zeroed in on a joke Colbert made about Trump and Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin that many deemed homophobic. The outrage led to a #FireColbert campaign on Twitter, one largely led by conservative viewers who — and this is blind speculation — are upset over ex-Fox News commentator Bill O’Reilly getting forced out for things that outraged the public.

The difference here is that O’Reilly was accused of being a serial sexual harasser while Colbert made a poorly thought out joke. That didn’t stop the Late Show host from addressing the backlash on his show Wednesday night.

Colbert didn’t go so far as to apologize for the crude Trump joke but did express his regret over making it harsher than it had to be.

"“So while I would do it again, I would change a few words that were cruder than they needed to be. I’m not going to repeat the phrase, but I just want to say for the record, life is short, and anyone who expresses their love for another person, in their own way, is to me, an American hero. I think we can all agree on that. I hope even the president and I can agree on that. Nothing else. But, that.”"

This isn’t the first time that Colbert has faced backlash over a joke he made that was deemed insensitive. Back in 2014 there was a #CancelColbert campaign after he made a joke about Chinese people in a bit skewering the absurdity of Washington Redskins owner Daniel Snyder donating to Native American charities to cancel out the outrage over a racist team name.

The result of that was Colbert eventually getting named David Letterman’s Late Show replacement, and it doesn’t seem there will be much disciplinary action taken here either.