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Trevor Noah’s sexist jokes about Aboriginal women are coming back to haunt him
The resurfaced video also shows him mimicking oral sex with a didgeridoo.
Trevor Noah’s past jokes, once again, have come back to haunt him.
After it was announced in 2015 that the South African comedian would replace Jon Stewart as host of The Daily Show, a number of old tweets were unearthed that featured Noah making misogynistic and anti-Semitic jokes. Now, just before Noah is set to tour Australia, an old standup comedy bit in which he says Aboriginal women are unattractive has resurfaced, and Noah has been forced to respond.
In the video below, Noah said, “All women of every race can be beautiful. And I know some of you are sitting there now going, ‘Oh Trevor, yeah, but I’ve never seen a beautiful Aborigine.’ Yeah, but you know what you say? You say ‘yet.’ That’s what you say: ‘yet.’ Because you haven’t seen all of them, right?
“And plus it’s not always about looks. Yes, maybe Aborigine women do special things, maybe they’ll just like, jump on top of you.”
Then, as the Daily Mail notes, he makes a sound like a didgeridoo while mimicking a woman giving a man oral sex.
CW: Racism, sexism, objectifying and degrading Indigenous womenTrevor Noah's team are working extremely hard to have this racist and sexist 'joke' erased from existence. I recorded this yesterday before the original clip was removed. I said I was done with this but I believe this clip should be out there so that they cannot just sweep it under the rug. So many poeple ask for proof or 'don't believe it' so here it is. Trevor Noah calling Aboriginal women ugly. Then saying that it's not all about looks and that maybe we are good for sex. Then simulating Aboriginal women performing sex acts with an instrument held sacred by many Indigenous people. These comments are not only hurtful, but contribute to harmful stereotypes perpetuated to justify our abuse throughout history: That we are good for nothing but our bodies and our sex.If men want to make money off of being hailed as 'feminist heroes' then they better be ready to be called out. He has not apologised and is actively attempting to hide what happened. I won't hold my breath for a proper apology.#TrevorNoah
Posted by Feminism & Decolonisation on Sunday, July 22, 2018
The video was discovered a few days ago by an Australian woman.
— LaVonne Bobongie (@_LaVonne_) July 22, 2018
The video has since been deleted, thanks to a copyright claim made by David Paul Meyer, a segment director at The Daily Show.
The Feminism & Decolonisation Facebook page wrote in response to the video that “I am sad and disappointed, as I’m sure many of us are. His pieces on colonialism made so many of us feel heard and validated. Our hurt is real, especially having just celebrated our women so brilliantly during NAIDOC week. For me it feels like that point of a fight where you’re just waiting for them to come back with flowers and an apology and somehow make it all better but you both know it’s gone too far for that.”
Then, after the YouTube clip was deleted, this appeared on the Feminism & Decolonisation page: “Trevor Noah‘s team are working extremely hard to have this racist and sexist ‘joke’ erased from existence. I said I was done with this but I believe this clip should be out there so that they cannot just sweep it under the rug. So many poeple (sic) ask for proof or ‘don’t believe it’ so here it is. Trevor Noah calling Aboriginal women ugly. Then saying that it’s not all about looks and that maybe we are good for sex. Then simulating Aboriginal women performing sex acts with an instrument held sacred by many Indigenous people.
“These comments are not only hurtful, but contribute to harmful stereotypes perpetuated to justify our abuse throughout history: That we are good for nothing but our bodies and our sex. If men want to make money off of being hailed as ‘feminist heroes’ then they better be ready to be called out. He has not apologised and is actively attempting to hide what happened.”
On Monday, Noah responded on Twitter saying he would not make a joke like that again.
@joewilliams_tew you're right. After visiting Australia's Bunjilaka museum and learning about aboriginal history first hand I vowed never to make a joke like that again. And I haven't. I'll make sure the clip from 2013 is not promoted in any way.
— Trevor Noah (@Trevornoah) July 22, 2018
In 2015, Noah, after he was named Stewart’s successor, got into trouble for tweets like “Messi gets the ball and the real players try foul him, but Messi doesn’t go down easy, just like jewish chicks.”
Viacom later admitted it didn’t vet Noah’s social media accounts before it hired him, and Stewart said at the time, “I do hope you give him an opportunity to earn that trust and respect because my experience with him is that he is [an] incredibly thoughtful and considerate and funny and smart individual.”
Noah on Monday also tweeted to Joe Williams, a former rugby star in Australia, and said he would be open to learning more about different Australian communities.
Editor’s note: This story’s headline has been updated with Associated Press styling for Austalian indigenous people.
H/T Daily Mail
Josh Katzowitz is a staff writer at the Daily Dot specializing in YouTube and boxing. His work has appeared in the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, and Los Angeles Times. A longtime sports writer, he's covered the NFL for CBSSports.com and boxing for Forbes. His work has been noted twice in the Best American Sports Writing book series.