ENTERTAINMENT

Hasan Minhaj: 'I'm Not Built For This Beef' With Saudi Arabia

"I'm going to do the best I can to not poke anymore."

Nearly two months after Netflix pulled an episode of his show from airing in Saudi Arabia, comedian Hasan Minhaj said he’s not prepared to battle the county’s oppressive regime.

“I’m not built for this beef,” the “Patriot Act” star joked to CNN’s Van Jones during an interview Saturday. “I’m not ready to go head-to-head with dictators or autocrats, so I’m sorry in advance. Like, I want to live to see the retweets.”

In early January, reports emerged that the streaming service had decided to yank the episode in which Minhaj condemned the alleged role of Saudi Arabia’s leaders in the murder of Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi. The Saudi’s claimed Minhaj’s show broke its cybercrime laws. However, the episode remained available on YouTube and on Netflix’s U.S. platform.

Minhaj told Jones he’s “going to do the best I can to not poke anymore.”

“Everyone’s coming up to me [saying], ‘Man, this is the bravest thing you could have ever done.’ I’m not trying to be comedy’s Tupac,” he said, referring to the fame rapper killed in a Las Vegas shooting in 1996.

Though Jones was interested in discussing Minhaj’s pursuit of activism via entertainment, the comic focused on reporters and change-makers on the ground as the ones facing the regime’s most tangible threats.

“Safety is something that we take for granted here in America,” he said. “I’m not the real victim here. The victims are the activists in Saudi Arabia, the journalists in Saudi Arabia, dissenters who get sort of silenced.”

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