Trevor Noah responds to racism accusations over World Cup comments

2018-07-19 13:08
Trevor Noah. (Getty Images)

Johannesburg – The Daily Show host Trevor Noah has cleared the air about a joke he made when France won the Soccer World Cup, which landed him in hot water with many fans.

In one of his Between The Scenes clips, the presenter explained what happened which led to him getting “into a little bit of trouble with the French government”. 

“France won the World Cup, and so on the show we celebrated that, and I had this joke where I said Africa won the World Cup,” he tells the audience, referring to the fact that many of the French soccer players are of African descent.  

According to Trevor many French people were angry at the comment, with the French Ambassador going so far as to write him a letter which he ended up reading. 

“I heard your words about an African victory. Nothing could be less true. As many of the players have already stated themselves, their parents may have come from another country, but the great majority of them, all but two out of 23, were born in France,” the note states in part.  

Taking the criticism to heart, Trevor stated that he “understands” the point the French Ambassador is trying to make, but went on to explain where he was coming from.

“My opinion is, coming from South Africa, coming from Africa, and even watching the World Cup in the United States of America, black people all over the world were celebrating the Africaness of the French players. Not in a negative way, but in a positive way, going look at these Africans who can become French. It’s a celebration of that achievement.” 

The star went on to address the importance of people being able to celebrate their heritage.

“This is what I find weird in these arguments is people go, they’re not African, they’re French. Then I’m like, why can’t they be both?” he said, later ending off the clip by adding: “I will continue to praise them for being African, because I believe that they are of Africa, their parents are from Africa and they can be French at the same time. And if French people are saying that they cannot be both, then I think they have a problem, and not me."