Trevor Noah is gearing up to take over “The Daily Show” on September 28, but he's finding it hard to shake off the skeptics who may not be so excited to see him in his new role.
In a recent interview with GQ, Noah talked about the significant amount of backlash he received earlier this year after it was announced he would replace veteran comedian Jon Stewart as host. The announcement drew attention to Noah’s Twitter timeline history, which featured a series of jokes he made in 2009 that were labeled offensive, sexist and anti-Semitic.
In discussing the backlash, Noah deemed himself an "idiot" for making them -- but he also went on to state that the criticisms didn't come as a surprise.
"A guy doesn't leave and another guy comes in and there's no backlash. That never, ever happens,” he told GQ. “When Michael B. Jordan got cast as the new Human Torch in 'Fantastic Four', there was backlash, because they were like, ‘How can this fictional character be a black man?'”
“I didn't know what the backlash was gonna be, but I knew there was going to be backlash. The same thing when Larry Wilmore took over from Colbert: ‘Oh, this is never gonna work. This is horrible,'" he continued.
The comedian’s Twitter comments weren't the only targets. The South Africa native also shared what he learned from exploring race in his 2012 breakthrough performance on Jay Leno’s "Tonight Show". According to the 31-year-old, one regret he had from his nationally televised routine was a joke that was addressed specifically towards African-Americans, which he made after relocating to America from South Africa.
“I said, ‘You’re not African, but we play along.’ I had given some people ammunition to oppress those who had already been oppressed,” he recalled during the interview with GQ. “I hadn’t understood the African-American experience. I hadn’t read the books; I hadn’t met the people; I hadn’t traveled the country.”
Read more of Trevor Noah’s GQ magazine feature here.
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