The issue with the internet is that there’s just too much of it. For instance, look at the #FireColbert movement that got started on Twitter recently.
“When you insult one member of the CBS family, you insult us all. BAZINGA!” said Colbert, before firing off a barrage of insults at the president, one of those being, “The only thing your mouth is good for is being Vladimir Putin’s cock holster.”
Insulting Trump is nothing new for Colbert. He does it nightly, and his ratings have improved “bigly” because of it. The problem is he insulted the queer community with that particular comment.
This is 2017. You don’t need to watch Hilary Duff’s old “don’t call stuff gay” PSA to know how wrong and hurtful that is.
(Solid PSA though.)
The joke is seen by many as an offensive misstep by Colbert, and it reportedly inspired the #FireColbert hashtag to start trending on Tuesday.
We say “reportedly” because now the conversation has become so muddled that even #FireColbert tweeters don’t seem to know what they’re tweeting about. The sad thing is this could’ve been a learning moment for “The Late Show,” but it’s hard to learn anything when people aren’t sure why they’re enraged.
Yes, there are tweets that mention the homophobic connotations of Colbert’s joke:
But many more don’t seem to be aware of that argument. In fact, scrolling through a search for the hashtag reveals that much of the debate has turned into liberals who are Colbert fans vs. conservatives who aren’t.
Some are tweeting #FireColbert simply for his attack on the president:
Others are tweeting out #FireColbert in support of the host:
Even George Takei, a former “Star Trek” star and a prominent figure in the LGBTQ community, tweeted out #FireColbert, thinking it was from “right wing mushrooms” who want Colbert gone because he made fun of the president, aka the “Troll King.”
He doesn’t mention the homophobic joke at all.
Like Takei’s ship in many “Star Trek” episodes, it seems the hashtag has lost its way.
Even if the movement was more on topic, as HuffPost Queer Voices Deputy Editor James Michael Nichols points out, Colbert wasn’t the first to make a tasteless joke about Trump and Vladimir Putin having a romantic relationship. This has been going on for a while now.
Tweeting #FireColbert isn’t going to change anything. If you do want to make a difference, take to heart Nichols’ words when he writes, “Our lives are not a punchline.”