The host of America’s late-night TV programme, The Daily Show, has drawn the ire of France’s ambassador to the US after joking that “Africa won the World Cup.”
Earlier this week, Trevor Noah, a prominent comedy host in the United States, praised “Africa” for its World Cup victory, considering the immigrant heritage of many of the French squad’s players and their families.
The joke triggered controversy in France, with some social media users accusing the comedian Noah — a South African born to a black mother and white father during apartheid — of racism.
French ambassador to the US Gerard Araud on Wednesday sent Noah a stern letter criticising the joke, saying “nothing could be less true.”
Noah acknowledged that far-right groups in both France and the United States use the principle of heritage as a “line of attack” against immigrants to justify exclusion.
But he explained that he found it “weird” to suggest the players couldn’t simultaneously be African and French.
Saying that he “vehemently” disagreed with that notion, Noah appeared to double down on his original message.