The tag #CancelColbert has been trending on Twitter since @ColbertReport's tweet of a derogatory line from his show late Thursday night, with some users calling for an apology.
The now-deleted tweet from The Colbert Report's verified Twitter account read, "I am willing to show #Asian community I care by introducing the Ching-Chong Ding-Dong Foundation for Sensitivity to Orientals or Whatever."
The tweet came from a Colbert segment on the controversy surrounding the name of football team Washington Redskins, which many people consider offensive. Colbert was parodying team owner Dan Snyder's newest charity efforts directed at the Native-American community, and cited the fictitious "Ching-Chong Ding-Dong Foundation" as a way to make his point.
But Colbert has now found himself at the center of a social media firestorm.
Fans and viewers weighed in on Twitter. Some were supportive of his satire, others feeling offended, hurt and wanting an apology, even though Colbert says his personal account and the show's account are separate entities.
@suey_park wrote, "We are waiting for an apology and explanation, @ColbertReport. #CancelColbert."
Colbert himself chimed in on the controversy, tweeting, "#CancelColbert - I agree! Just saw @ColbertReport tweet. I share your rage. Who is that, though? I'm @StephenAtHome," including a link to the show segment that puts the taken-out-of-context show line back into context.
The Colbert Report's official account, with more than a million followers, tweeted, "For the record @ColbertReport is not controlled by Stephen Colbert or his show. He is @StephenAtHome Sorry for the confusion #CancelColbert."
In an effort to clarify once more, the official Twitter account tweeted, "This is a Comedy Central account, with no oversight from Stephen/show. Here is quoted line in context," and also provided a link to the segment in question.
Celebrities such as Gwyneth Paltrow and Madonna have experienced their own fair share of public scrutiny when they used the n-word on Twitter and Instagram. Paltrow was expressing her support of Jay-Z and Kanye West's popular hit "N***as in Paris," and Madonna was showing support for her 13-year-old son's boxing match.
Last summer, Dr. Phil intended to open a discussion about consent under the influence of alcohol with the tweet, "@DrPhil-If a girl is drunk, is it OK to have sex with her? Reply yes or no to @drphil #teensaccused." This also caused controversy over social media.
The devastating 2011 tsunami that left more than 28,000 dead and paralyzed parts of Japan was often the subject of stand-up comedian Gilbert Gottfried's jokes on Twitter. One tweet read, "Japan is really advanced. They don't go to the beach. The beach comes to them."