Stephen Colbert to be Investigated by FCC after 'Offensive' Trump Joke
Stephen Colbert’s remarks about Donald Trump are going to be investigated by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), according to its chairman.
On Thursday Ajit Pai said the body had received several complaints after Colbert said “The only thing [Trump’s] mouth is good for is being Vladimir Putin’s cock holster,” on his Monday night show.
In an interview with radio host Rich Zeoli, Pai said: “I have had a chance to see the clip now and so, as we get complaints, and we’ve gotten a number of them, we are going to take the facts that we find and we are going to apply the law as it’s been set out by the supreme court and other courts and we’ll take the appropriate action.”
After the show aired on Monday night, the hashtag #FireColbert began trending worldwide, with some calling the host’s joke homophobic.
“We have received a number of complaints,” Pai added. “We’ll follow the standard operating procedures, as we always do, and make sure we evaluate what the facts are and apply the law fairly and fully.”
CBS could face a fine if the FCC deems the joke to be “indecent”, which is defines as anything that appeals to “an average person’s prurient interest; depict or describe sexual conduct in a ‘patently offensive’ way; and, taken as a whole, lack serious literary, artistic, political or scientific value”.
On Wednesday, Colbert said he would change “a few words that were cruder than they needed to be” but confirmed that he would still do it again if he had the chance.
“I’m not going to repeat the phrase,” he added. “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.”
The controversy follows a seven-day period in which the role of late-night comics and their politicization has been in the spotlight. Samantha Bee recently hosted her Not the White House Correspondents’ Dinner and has been a constant critic of the new president, while Jimmy Kimmel directly addressed the president’s efforts to repeal the Affordable Care Act after recounting the care his newborn son received.