Trevor Noah, standup comedian and recently-announced successor to Jon Stewart, has written about 9,000 tweets. On Tuesday, a handful of them came back to haunt him.
Only a few hours after he was christened Stewart’s replacement for “The Daily Show,” Noah took heat for off-color jokes he made on Twitter about women and Jewish people.
The tweets, which reach as far back to 2009, contained several jokes at the expense of women, particularly overweight women and lesbians. Some played with subjects like stereotypes of Jews, and German hostility to Jews.
Comedy Central released a statement on Tuesday afternoon standing by Noah, saying he had a “bright future” at the channel.
“Like many comedians, Trevor Noah pushes boundaries; he is provocative and spares no one, himself included,” the statement said. “To judge him or his comedy based on a handful of jokes is unfair.”
A sample of the tweets that set the Internet ablaze:
“Oh yeah the weekend. People are gonna get drunk & think that I’m sexy!” – fat chicks everywhere.
— Trevor Noah (@Trevornoah) October 14, 2011
Messi gets the ball and the real players try foul him, but Messi doesn’t go down easy, just like jewish chicks. #ElClasico
— Trevor Noah (@Trevornoah) January 25, 2012
A hot white woman with ass is like a unicorn. Even if you do see one, you’ll probably never get to ride it.
— Trevor Noah (@Trevornoah) November 28, 2011
Behind every successful Rap Billionaire is a double as rich Jewish man. #BeatsByDreidel
— Trevor Noah (@Trevornoah) May 12, 2014
I’m watching Olympic women’s hockey. It’s like lesbian porn. Without the porn. #InLove
— Trevor Noah (@Trevornoah) July 31, 2012
Almost bumped a Jewish kid crossing the road. He didn’t look b4 crossing but I still would hav felt so bad in my german car!
— Trevor Noah (@Trevornoah) September 18, 2009
Many users began to criticize the tweets, calling Noah racist, anti-Semitic, and generally offensive.
— Dani Klein (@YeahThatsKosher) March 30, 2015
— susan sherman petosa (@spetosa) March 31, 2015
— Sally Konn (@Obomination1) March 31, 2015
But not everyone responding to the tweets agreed that they were equally incendiary.
A lot of these Trevor Noah polemics seem to be lazily lumping in the one dicy Jewish joke with a bunch of “mentions the word Jewish” jokes
— Benjy Sarlin (@BenjySarlin) March 31, 2015
And a lot of the jokes being included as anti-semitic simply aren’t. One is anti-aryan, one is a weak Holocaust gag and one is anti-Israel.
— Classic Charles (@Ugarles) March 31, 2015
i see we’ve reached the point of the trevor noah news cycle where we retweet the problematic tweets
— Jeb Lund (@Mobute) March 31, 2015