Stephen Colbert’s sexually explicit gay joke about President Donald Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin on his May 1 episode of “The Late Show” cracked up his studio audience, but home viewers didn’t find the joke as funny.
Politico reports that the FCC received 5,700 complaints about Colbert’s opening monologue joke calling Trump, “Vladimir Putin’s c-ck holster.” The joke sparked the social media campaign #FireColbert on Twitter.
The complaints were from conservatives and liberals alike, but many felt the joke opted for homophobia in favor of slamming Trump.
“By using accusations of being gay as an insult, it implied that there is something wrong with being gay,” wrote one viewer from Urbana, Ill.
“I really thought we left this kind of bigotry in the wastebin of history,” a New York City viewer wrote in. “Instead I have to endure it during dinner with me and my husband’s son.”
A transgender man who identifies as homosexual commented, “There is nothing wrong with two men who love each other. I don’t like Trump but I also don’t like anti-homosexual comments being aired for millions of people to see. I have to say, shame on you for allowing this.”
Other complaints mentioned that Colbert wouldn’t have made a similar joke about Hillary Clinton or Barack Obama.
On his May 3 episode, Colbert did admit he “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,” Colbert says. “I think we can all agree on that. I hope even the president and I can agree on that. Nothing else. But, that.”
The original monologue has received more than seven million views on YouTube.