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Dublin: 5 °C Friday 14 December, 2018

Trevor Noah has hit back at criticism from the French Ambassador about his 'Africa won the World Cup' joke

The French Ambassador to the United States wrote a letter to Noah criticising the joke.

IN CASE YOU missed it somehow, France won the World Cup on Sunday.

There they are now.

Source: Elmar Kremser/SVEN SIMON

So Trevor Noah obviously covered it on ‘The Daily Show’ and made a joke that didn’t exactly go down well in France…

A good few people accused Noah of being racist.

With some being slightly more vocal about it than others.

This then led the French Ambassador to the United States to write a letter to Noah to express his disappointment at the joke.

France is indeed a cosmpolition country but every citizen is part of the French identity and together they belong to the nation of France. Unlike the United States of America, France does not refer to its citizens based on their race, religion or origin.”

Some strong words indeed. However, it’s hard to believe that given that just a few weeks ago French President Emmanuel Macron tweeted to the effect that African nations needed to get over colonialism which also did not go down well.

60% percent of the Nigerian population is aged under 25. That’s 60% of the population which, like me, did not witness colonisation. We are the new generation. We are going to dispel prejudice by rebuilding a new future through culture.”

Trevor Noah address in the letter in an 8 minute video released on The Daily Show Twitter account in a segment called ‘Between the Scenes’.

The first point he addressed was the line ‘ They are proud of their country, France. The rich and various backgrounds of these players is a reflection of France’s diversity.’

Now I’m not trying to be an asshole but I think it’s more of a reflection of France’s colonialism. It’s not like they’re just random players, they all have something in common. Like all of those players, if you trace their lineage, you’re like ‘How did you guys become French Like how did your family start speaking French?”

Fair point.

Source: UPI/PA Images

Noah, who is from South Africa himself, also made the point that his joke was meant to be seen in a positive light.

Coming from South Africa, coming from Africa and even watching the World Cup in the US, black people all over the world were celebrating the Africanness of the French players. Not in a negative way, but rather in a positive awy of ‘look at these Africans who can become French’.

Noah then asked a simple question.

Why can’t they be both? Why is that duality only afforded to a select group of people? Why can’t they not be African? What they’re arguing here is that in order to be French, you have to erase everything that is African? “

The whole video is incredibly interesting and is definitely worth a watch. According to Buzzfeed, the French Ambassador won’t be responding to the response but both parties seem to have made some pretty good points about a rather complex issue.

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About the author:

Rachel O'Neill

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