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Colin Jost Under Fire for ‘Transphobic’ Joke on ‘Saturday Night Live’

Saturday Night Live cast member Colin Jost found himself inundated with complaints and criticism on social media this week after joking that the election of Donald Trump was a result of identity politics being pushed ahead of other issues facing America voters.

During the “Weekend update” segment of last week’s show, Jost joked: “The dating app Tinder announced a new feature this week, which gives users 37 different gender identity options. It’s called, ‘Why Democrats lost the election.'”

Jost quickly found himself in a war of words on social media with LBGTQ activists.

“Politically engaged ‘PC Police’ liberals made it possible for racist demagogues to win, not the apathetic 42% of Americans who didn’t vote,” one user wrote on Twitter.

Some users scorned Jost for spreading “hatred,” while others blamed Hillary Clinton’s loss on “cis white women.”

Jost defended himself by asking one user if they “think 100 percent of Trump voters were hatred and 0 percent had any other rationale?”

The 34-year-old comic tweeted a link to a New York Times article written by political scientist Mark Lilla, which proposes that Clinton made a “strategic mistake” when she adopted “the rhetoric of diversity, calling out explicitly to African-American, Latino, L.G.B.T. and women voters at every stop.”

Another user, Ben Hopkins of the rock band PWR BTTM, begged the SNL star not to “trivialize” his community’s “right to love.”

Jost responded: “It’s politics. A lot of politics is messaging and getting America on board. I want to examine how we failed at that goal.”

Meanwhile, online outlets also took aim at Jost.

In a piece titled “Colin Jost Is a Dumbass,” Deadspin’s Jordan Sargent said that with his responses to the criticism, the comedian revelead “he wasn’t just making a dumb joke.”

“Jost was not ribbing his viewers with the idea that Hillary Clinton lost because Democrats focus too much on the intricacies of identity—which would have been fine, we can laugh at ourselves—he was, apparently, genuinely making a point about who and what the Democrats should prioritize over the next four years,” Sargent wrote. “Reasonable people can discuss ways in which the party can win back some of the white vote, but Jost is saying that liberals should deemphasize equal rights for all people because it alienates rednecks.”

Similarly crticial pieces were published this week at the AV Club and at Paste magazine.

The comic’s Twitter account had gone silent as of Wednesday morning.

 

Follow Jerome Hudson on Twitter: @JeromeEHudson

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