Days after controversy regarding the censorship of comedian and talk show host John Oliver's episode on Prime Minister Narendra Modi by streaming platform Hotstar, the comedian is back in news, this time for ripping into none other than Republic TV anchor Arnab Goswami.
In a yet to be aired episode, the "Last Week Tonight with John Oliver" host called Goswami the "Tucker Carlson of India".
The comment came after Goswami on a recent panel discussion on his channel called Oliver a "third rate comedian" who gets material and content for his show from his team of researchers. He further called him an "ignoramus of exceedingly global proportions" and said that Oliver was not even good enough to be a satirist. Goswami went on to accuse Oliver of "embarrassing" himself on air with his commentary on Modi.
Oliver, who is a Prime Time Emmy winner for his work as a writer on the "The Daily Show With Jon Stewart," said that there was no way that he could embarrass himself any further than he already had as a comic.
Following his critical commentary on Modi after US President Trump visited India for a maiden two-day visit with family, Oliver has been subjected to intense trolling from supporters of the Modi government. In the episode, Oliver talked about "India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi-- why he’s popular, why he’s controversial, and where things are headed for the largest democracy in the world." He said Narendra Modi's government has "pursued a steadily escalating persecution of religious minorities. Persecution so intense that for the last two months Indians across the country have taken to the streets in anger." He talks in reference to the ongoing protest and violence over the Citizenship (Amendment) Act and National Register of Citizens.
Not a stranger to trolling back in his own country, Oliver's latest episode seems to have taken up the issue of trolling from Indian media.
For those unaware of the United States television scene, Carlson is conservative journalist and Donald Trump loyalist who has his own talk show called the "Tucker Carslon Tonight" in which he often makes controversial statements. He once told a woman contributor of Teen Vogue who had written a critique on Trump, to "stick to thigh high boots". He went on to call her "vapid", "mindless and nasty" on air. He once called for executing footballer Michael Vick after he allegedly mistreated a dog. Carlson also notably said that immigrants would make the country "poorer and dirtier".
While the complete episode is yet to air, snippets of the video including the bit about Goswami have been going viral on social media. In yet another clip, Oliver talks about how Hotstar, which is owned by Walt Disney, took the Modi episode off hair and also censored episodes where he made jokes about Disney.
Many on social media reacted to the videos.
"A couple of weeks ago we did a story on India's PM - Narendra Modi...which some die hard Modi supporters like Arnab Goswami, the Tucker Carlson of India, did not enjoy"😡Dear @iamjohnoliver - Indians are very cultured folks - we take umbrage if our father is insulted. Ok? pic.twitter.com/Zq8gIbXUaP— Akash Banerjee (@TheDeshBhakt) March 9, 2020