JOHANNESBURG: Comedian Trevor Noah has said he is sorry for mocking the recent escalation in tensions between India and Pakistan.
Noah, host of the award-winning Daily Show, said in a recent episode that a war between the two nuclear-armed countries would be “the most entertaining”, adding that “it would also be the longest war of all time – another dance number!”
The gag caused an outrage in India, where thousands took to Twitter to share how upset they were at his remarks. Some even labelled the South African comedian as “racist” and “insensitive”.
Responding to a Twitter user who said Noah “mocks war through a Bollywood stereotype” and reminded him that his mother was shot in the head by her husband (Trevor’s stepfather), Noah wrote:
“Actually if you watch my stand up you’ll see that I did make jokes after my mother was shot in the head. As a comedian I use comedy to process pain and discomfort in my world but I am sorry that this hurt you and others, that’s not what I was trying to do.”
The comedian then went on to share his incredulity at how “my joke about the conflict in India and Pakistan trended more than the story of the actual conflict itself.”
“Sometimes it seems like people are more offended by the jokes comedians make about an issue than the issue itself,” he added.
Noah, who is the son of a Xhosa-speaking mother and a Swiss-German father, grew up in the township of Soweto, South Africa. He shot to fame in 2015 as the surprise choice to host the nightly satire show, taking over after Jon Stewart´s celebrated 16-year stint.
Tensions between India and Pakistan soared following Indian incursions into Pakistani airspace and subsequent downing of two Indian aircraft by Pakistan Air Force last week.
— Propergaanda (@propergaanda) February 28, 2019