‘The Daily Show’ aired a high-profile segment Thursday night that
pitted Native American activists against hardcore Washington Redskins
fans, although the program largely glossed over what was reportedly a
heated confrontation between the two groups.
As it turns out, one of the Native American activists who participated in the panel says there was even more intense footage featuring some of the activists at a Redskins tailgate that never made it to air.
Migizi Pensoneau, one of three members of a Native American comedy group called the 1491s who appeared in the segment, wrote about his experience during the taping for a piece published Friday in the Missoula Independent. Pensoneau revealed that the day after the group of Native Americans confronted the panel of Redskins loyalists, the ‘Daily Show’ taped he and his fellow comedians wandering around a tailgate at Fed Ex Field on game day — and by his account, they weren’t well received by those fans either.
Pensoneau wrote that he “actually was afraid for my life” during the hour-long taping. He recounted being mocked and threatened, including by a blonde woman who told him “I’ll fucking cut you” because he was wearing a T-shirt that read “Caucasians.”
Here’s what Pensoneau says went down:
I’m a big dude—6’1”, and a lotta meat on the bones. But a blonde little wisp of a girl completely freaked me out as I waited in line for the bathroom. “Is that shirt supposed to be funny?” she asked motioning to my satirical “Caucasians” T-shirt. And then she said, “I’ll fucking cut you.” Actually, she didn’t scare me so much as the wannabe linebackers standing behind her who looked like they wanted to make good on her threat.
He went on to describe a man blowing cigar smoke in his face and other fans yelling at him to “go the fuck home” and “Thanks for letting us use your name!”
One of the Redskins fans who participated in the ‘Daily Show’ panel, Kelli O’Dell, had told the Washington Post earlier this week that she called the police after the taping because she felt similarly threatened by the Native American activists.
“The Native Americans accused me of things that were so wrong,” she told the newspaper. “I felt in danger. I didn’t consent to that. I am going to be defamed.”
Pensoneau touched on the group’s interaction with O’Dell in his piece, describing it as “intense” but not “mean-spirited:”
As some of the anti-mascot activists started in passionately on the issue, pro-mascot panelist Kelli O’Dell, who was previously employed by the Washington Redskins and whose Internet presence is devoted to her support of the team and mascot, started to cry. My ever-dapper 1491s colleague, Bobby Wilson, offered her his own handkerchief. It was an intense situation, but never mean-spirited. O’Dell, though, started to accuse us of ambushing and lying and “how dare you.”
Overall, it appears filming the ‘Daily Show’ segment wasn’t a fully enjoyable experience for either side of the Redskins naming debate.