@Sweden officially says no to Stephen Colbert

Sorry, Stephen Colbert, but the only nation you can control is America.

The creators of the @Sweden campaign told the Comedy Central host on Wednesday that he could not guest-control the Twitter account. The @Sweden campaign started in December to offer the world a unique view on Swedish life, and it will stay in Swedish people’s hands despite a highly publicized effort by Colbert to run it.

Maria Ziv, a Visit Sweden official who help runs the campaign, told a Swedish news source The Local that a few reasons factored into the decision. The organization did not want to appear that it “sold out” and the organizers did not like Colbert’s voice.

“He is a Twitter ‘broadcaster’ and this doesn’t align with our goals. Our decision was that we wouldn’t cave in and sell out, just because he’s famous. We decided that a Colbert takeover would have served him, not us,” said Ziv.

She also knocked Colbert for having 3.6 million followers but following zero people in return, thus not being very interactive with his Twitter account. The comedian’s #ArtificialSwedener campaign boosted @Sweden’s follower count by 40,000 followers and 2,300 people used the hashtag, according to Topsy.

The Daily Dot noticed that Colbert recently removed the #ArtificialSwedener banner from his website, ColbertNation.com.

Ziv also added that @Sweden might expand to non-Swedish people living in Sweden because they offer a “fresh and unique perspective,” but no final decision has been made.

She did add that Visit Sweden might lend @Sweden to celebrities in the future and mentioned Will Ferrell as a possibility since he has a Swedish wife, but Ziv shied away from an official offer.

“I don’t want to go on about that—I wouldn’t want to make Mr. Colbert cross,” said Ziv to The Local.

That might be too late.

Photo via Comedy Central

Jordan Valinsky

Jordan Valinsky

A former editorial operations specialist and staff writer for the Daily Dot, Jordan Valinsky is a tech reporter and web culture commentator. His work has been published by the Week, Digiday, CNNMoney, Popular Mechanics, Vice, Mic, and Betabeat.