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As one of late night TV's most unflappable personalities, Stephen Colbert has a way of getting under people's skin that he doesn't mind exploiting. And while his intentional shift to more political subject matter has played a part in winning The Late Show a bigger viewership, it has also made him a bigger target for those unhappy with his constant ridicule. And things went too far this week during Colbert's monologue covering Donald Trump's stunted interview with CBS News' John Dickerson, and one joke enraged some for being homophobic, resulting in a new round of #FireColbert hashtags.
After all the clip-related jokes were completed, Stephen Colbert then took aim at the President with a series of schoolyard insults. And it was one of those particularly rough one-liners that ticked off a wave of folks on social media. Check out a portion of the bit, which quite obviously ends on the offending words.
Both those calling for Colbert's dismissal and those dismissing the outrage are using "#FireColbert" equally on Twitter and elsewhere, leading to its trending status in the time after the episode aired. But one side clearly has more of a goal there, with some people also posting phone numbers and email addresses to different Late Show advertisers, so that protest messages can be written, asking for the companies to yank commercials from the CBS timeslot. That's obviously inspired in part by the recent ousting of former Fox News mainstay Bill O'Reilly, whose O'Reilly Report hemorrhaged advertisers following the reports about lawsuits settled with sexual harassment accusers. The fact that Colbert over-celebrated O'Reilly's exit probably didn't help with those currently calling for his firing.
Though my ears have heard it all, that was a puzzling move on the comedian's part, since the word "teat" would have completed the same concept without taking things in a bleep-worthy direction. But hey, I'm not writing Late Show monologues or issuing paychecks to those that do. You can check out the whole monologue below, and you can turn the video off before the 11:40 mark if you don't want to hear the specific slur.
This isn't the first time that the hashtag has taken over Twitter, and its zenith was originally reached back in 2014 after the Colbert Report Twitter account posted a joke seen to be racially insensitive. With a host that's likely to still be there by the time the next POTUS rolls around, The Late Show with Stephen Colbert airs weeknights on CBS at 11:35 p.m. ET. To see what else is heading to the small screen in the near future, head to our summer TV premiere schedule.