Controversy in comedy is fairly routine, but — unless you’re Lenny Bruce — it’s rare that the government gets involved. However, that’s exactly what’s happened to Stephen Colbert following an insults-aimed-at-Donald-Trump heavy monologue on The Late Show that led to Twitter activists calling for Colbert’s job. The monologue included a zinger (“the only thing your mouth is good for is being Vladimir Putin’s c*ck holster”) that caught the attention of the Federal Communications Commission, which is looking into the matter after receiving a number of complaints.
Standing with Colbert, though, is the Writer’s Guild of America, who released a statement in defense of the comedian, saying they were “appalled” to hear that FCC chair Ajit Pai would “apply the law” and “take appropriate action” if the joke were found to be “obscene.”
While the FCC treats every complaint it receives with seriousness, the WGA is nonetheless upset with Pai’s behavior:
Pai’s remarks are just the latest in a series of statements by the current administration indicating a willful disregard of the First Amendment. Colbert was poking fun at authority, a time-honored American tradition and an essential principle of democracy. What is obscene is not what Colbert said but any attempt by the government to stifle dissent and creativity. Our unions vehemently support Colbert and his writers and will fight for his or any individual’s right to publicly express his or her opinion of our elected officials.
Colbert already addressed the situation by saying he regretted nothing — but would change up some of the language he used — it’s nice to see the WGA coming to his defense (more positive PR for the group after avoiding a strike with the producers guild) and assuring that Colbert will be needling the president for the foreseeable future.