So, in case you missed it, The Colbert Report made fun of somebody via Twitter, and it became a threefold lesson in PR.
The tweet in question poked fun at the the owner of the controversially-named Washington Redskins, Daniel Snyder, after his ham-handed attempt at shedding positive light on the decidedly non-PC team name by announcing the creation of the Washington Redskins Original Americans Foundation.
The tweet read, “I am willing to show #Asian community I care by introducing the Ching-Chong Ding-Dong Foundation for Sensitivity to Orientals or Whatever.”
In context, it’s a hilarious parody that successfully illuminates Snyder’s poorly-executed attempt at cultural sensitivity; but taken out of context, the statement could obviously be viewed as, well, culturally insensitive.
Therein lay the problem.
In response to what she perceived as a serious, racially-insensitive statement, a woman named Suey Park created the hashtag #CancelColbert, which became a top-trending tag on Twitter.
In response to the contextually-challenged and widely-covered controversy, Colbert directly addressed the issue on Monday night’s show in classy, campy, Colbert style. Sure, he made plenty of jokes, but he also worked in necessary and responsible PR messages, including a request that his rabidly loyal fans stop harassing and threatening Ms. Park.
Moral of the story? I think we’ll do this in classic Rocky and Bullwinkle fashion: Context is Everything. OR Never Lose Your Sense of Humor.
Or, maybe: If your name is Dan Snyder, go back to the drawing board.