Viacom President on Trevor Noah’s Twitter Scandal: ‘We’re Not in the Business of Censoring People’

AP Photo/Bongiwe Mchunu-The Star
AP Photo/Bongiwe Mchunu-The Star

Despite a number of allegedly homophobic, fat, anti-Semitic, and racist jokes posted on comedian Trevor Noah’s Twitter account over the years, Viacom head Doug Herzof said Monday the Daily Show heir was never without the company’s support.

Herzog addressed the controversy and referred to Twitter as “a very particular dark place” while speaking with CNN’s Bill Weir at PromaxBDA’s annual convention for entertainment marketing professionals, according to Deadline.

“I think they’ll be teaching that someday, in the college courses they’ll teach on Twitter,” Herzog said.

While on vacation, the executive described learning of the controversy back in March, after facing a major backlash over Noah’s selection as host: “I was sitting there alone, not in the office. … I’m just sitting back and watching my Twitter explode. It was unpleasant. But that’s a very particular dark place.”

Deadline reports Herzog then admitted the company failed to properly vet Noah’s Twitter history, but said it would not have changed anything, as Comedy Central had already been eying the 31-year-old South African as a suitable replacement for Jon Stewart.

A few of Noah’s posts:

The Viacom president defended Noah’s jokes Monday, and argued that some were out of context, and some “just weren’t funny enough,” but insisted that he would not have done anything differently, per Deadline.

“It was overwhelming.” Herzog then said of Noah’s selection as host. “I should have been more prepared for how people might react.” He also insisted, “there was never ever any moment where we weren’t behind this guy.”


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