South African comedian Trevor Noah, the newly announced successor to Jon Stewart as host of the satirical television program “The Daily Show,” has come under the microscope for past social media posts that disparaged Jews, Israel, and women.
Noah, 31, has tweeted about Lionel Messi, a soccer star, “Messi gets the ball and the real players try foul him, but Messi doesn’t go down easy, just like jewish chicks. #ElClasico.”
Other examples of Noah’s controversial tweets relating to Jews and Israel include “South Africans know how to recycle like Israel knows how to be peaceful,” and “Almost bumped a Jewish kid crossing the road. He didn’t look b4 crossing the road, but I still would hav felt so bad in my german car.”
Regarding women, Noah has tweeted, “Oh yeah the weekend. People are gonna get drunk & think that I’m sexy! – fat chicks everywhere,” and “A hot white woman with ass is like a unicorn. Even if you do see one, you’ll probably never get to ride it.”
Stewart, who is Jewish, came under fire in pro-Israel circles last summer for what critics considered to be pro-Hamas bias in his segments on the war in Gaza. On Tuesday, Jewish organizations issued statements that addressed the controversy surrounding Noah’s tweets.
“Trevor Noah, tapped to replace retiring Daily Show host Jon Stewart, has repeatedly tweeted comments that are deeply offensive and highly stereotypical, and his anti-Israel comments even border on incitement. Why does he tweet about Jews so much?” B’nai B’rith International said in a statement.
“Though Jon Stewart has always been quick to note that The Daily Show is meant to provide entertainment more than actual news, political comedy in our culture is often a substitute for news,” B’nai B’rith added. “Studies have shown that a large number of Americans, particularly young Americans, get their news from such programs. The line between satire and hate can be very fine. As a result, the role of the host on this popular program carries significant responsibility.”
Anti-Defamation League National Director Abraham Foxman said, “We hope [Noah] will not cross the line from legitimate satire into offensiveness with jokes calling up anti-Semitic stereotypes and misogyny. We hope that ‘The Daily Show’ remains funny and irreverent without trafficking in bigoted jokes at the expense of Jews, other minorities, and women.”