Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Trevor Noah's Twitter scandal was 'very unpleasant' for Viacom and Comedy Central bosses; admits Trevor's Twitter feed wasn't vetted.

The Comedy Central boss has admitted that Trevor Noah's Twitter scandal which broke the day after he was announced as the new host of The Daily Show was "very unpleasant" and that everyone forgot to look and vet at Noah's Twitter history.

At the Promax BDA conference in Los Angeles, Doug Herzog, Viacom Music and Entertainment Group chief, said that everyone forgot to look at Noah's Twitter feed and wasn't aware of the bad sexist and anti-Semitic jokes he had made.

"Truthfully, it never occurred to us," said Doug Herzog, who admitted that his boss immediately wanted to know if Trevor Noah's Twitter past was vetted before the announcement was made that he would be taking over from Jon Stewart on Comedy Central (DStv 122).

“We did not, and of course that's the first thing my boss asked me."

Doug Herzog was however adamant that there were no plans to replace Trevor Noah after the controversy erupted.

Viacom International Media Networks Africa (VIMN Africa) will bring The Daily Show with Trevor Noah from 29 September to Comedy Central (DStv 122) on MultiChoice's DStv satellite pay-TV platform, less than a day after episodes are broadcast.

About Trevor Noah's Twitter jokes Doug Herzog said that "when we looked back on it, many of them were taken out of context, some just weren't funny enough, and I think that's where a lot of people's problems were with it."

"I'm not sure what we really could have done. I'm not sure we would have said, 'Wait that guy's not for us because he made that joke five years ago in response to something that happened that day.' I'm not sure what we would have really done. But it should be a lesson to us all."

Doug Herzog said he watched Twitter explode. "It was unpleasant. But that's a very particular dark place." 

He said Viacom and Comedy Central should have been more prepared. "We should have been more mentally prepared for how people would react when the announcement was made, no matter who it was. And there was certainly an unfortunate misstep in there."

"Trevor will go on, and there will be people who love him the first night, there will be people who hate him the first night, but he's coming back for night two, he's coming back for night three. He's going to be there for a long time," said Doug Herzog.

"From the very moment we saw him, and I think Jon felt the same way, we said, 'This guy is going to host The Daily Show some day.' I don't think anybody expected that day to be as soon as it turned out to be," said Doug Herzog.

"The Daily Show now demands somebody who's funny, who's insightful, who's smart, who understands world events and the news. It's not everybody who can bring all that together. We thought Trevor was one of the few guys who could, and who could speak in their own distinctive voice. I believe Trevor has that," said Doug Herzog. "Ultimately, we thought he was the right guy for the job."