Stephen Colbert Responds to #FireColbert Controversy

Stephen Colbert, #FIreColbert, Donald Trump, Vladimir Putin, Late Show

Stephen Colbert (Getty)

CBS Late Show host Stephen Colbert inspired online outrage this week, and a #FireColbert hashtag trending on Twitter, after critics claimed Colbert’s joke that Donald Trump’s mouth is only good for being “Vladimir Putin’s c**k holster” was “homophobic. (That said, not everyone who tweeted #FireColbert actually wanted Colbert to lose his job; the hashtag also included such tweets as “If you want to #FireColbert but are ok with 45 legalizing discrimination of LGBT, your problem is not with homophobia. #GiveColbertARaise”)

But on Wednesday afternoon, shortly after Colbert taped the Late Show episode slated to run later that night, CBS released a full transcript of the show’s opening from that night, which addressed the controversy:

“Welcome to The Late Show. I’m your host, Stephen Colbert. Still? I am still the host? I’m still the host! Now, if you saw my monologue Monday, you know that I was a little upset at Donald Trump for insulting a friend of mine.” The friend in question is John Dickerson, who hosts CBS’s Face the Nation. Trump walked out of an interview with Dickerson after Dickerson asked about Trump’s wiretapping claims (and also after Trump admitted he often refers to the show as “Deface the Nation”).

Colbert continued: “So at the end of that monologue, I had a few choice insults for the president in return. I don’t regret that. He, I believe, can take care of himself. I have jokes; he has the launch codes. So, it’s a fair fight. While I would do it again, I would change a few words that were cruder than they needed to be. I’m not going to repeat the phrase, but I just want to say for the record, life is short, and anyone who expresses their love for another person, in their own way, is to me an American hero. I think we can all agree on that. I hope even the president and I can agree on that. Nothing else. But, that.”

CBS’s pre-released transcript ends there. Colbert’s Wednesday night lead guest will be Big Bang Theory star Jim Parsons, who is supposed to discuss the #FireColbert “controversy” with his host , though CBS did not pre-release any specifics.