Trevor Responds to Criticism from the French Ambassador – Between The Scenes | The Daily Show

Trevor Responds to Criticism from the French Ambassador – Between The Scenes | The Daily Show


I wanted to share this
little story with you. I got into a little
bit of trouble with the French Government. (audience laughing) I know. The French Government. So what happened was, let’s
start at the beginning. France won the World Cup. (audience cheering
and applauding) And so on the show,
we celebrated that
and I had this joke where I said, I said
Africa won the World Cup. (audience cheering
and applauding) Yeah, and I was shocked at
how angry a lot of French people got, like genuine,
a lot of French people were angry and they were like,
“Oh Trevor how can you say this, why would you
say these things? (audience laughing) You know this is horrible.”
and I was like okay, I get it, not everyone
likes every joke that you tell and I get that
but this was interesting. I got a letter from the
ambassador of France. And I’ll read it to you,
it was about that joke. And he says, I’ll try to read
it how I hope he wrote it. (audience laughing) Which was he says, “Sir I
watched with great attention your July 17th show when
you spoke of the victory of the French team at the
2018 FIFA World Cup Russia final which took
place last Sunday. I heard your words about
an African victory, nothing could be less true.” (audience laughing) Now, first of all, I think
it could have been less, I could have says they
were Scandinavian. (audience laughing) That would have been less true, that would have been less true. He says, “As many of the
players have already stated themselves, their parents
may have come from another country but a great
majority of them — all but two out of 23
were born in France. They were educated in
France, they learned to play soccer in France,
they are French citizens. They’re proud of
their country, France. The rich and various
backgrounds of these players is a reflection of
France’s diversity. France is indeed…” Now that
line there was interesting. 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 a reflection
of France’s colonialism. (audience cheering
and applauding) Because it’s not like it’s
just like random players, like 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? Oh, okay. (audience laughing) And it says here, he says,
“France is indeed a cosmopolitan country but every citizen is
part of the French identity and together they belong
to the nation of France. Unlike in the United
States of America, France does not refer to its
citizens based on their race, religion or origin. To us,
there is no hyphenated identity. Roots are an individual reality, by calling them an African team
it seems like you’re denying their Frenchness. This,
even in jest, legitimizes the ideology which
claims whiteness as the only definition
of being French.” So now here’s the thing,
first things first. I understand what he’s
saying ’cause I read up on this afterwards,
right? I take criticism. I’ll listen to what
somebody says to me. I genuinely believe you
should, and what it turns out is in France, a lot
of Nazis in that country use the fact that these
players are of African descent to shit on their
Frenchness, you know. So they go you’re not
French, you’re from Africa go back to where you came
from, you’re not French. They use that as
a line of attack. Now my thing, my opinion is
coming from South Africa, coming from Africa and
even watching the World Cup in the United States of America, black people all over the
world were celebrating the Africaness of the
French players, right. Not in a negative way but
rather in a positive way going look at these Africans
who can become French. You know what I mean, it’s a
celebration of that achievement. And so, this is what I find
weird in these arguments is that people go they’re
not African, they’re French. Then I’m like why
can’t they be both? (audience applauding) Right, why is that duality
only afforded to select group of people, why
can they not be African? So what they’re arguing here is, in order to be French
you have to erase everything that is African,
’cause what do they mean when they say that
our culture, our this. So you cannot be French and
African at the same time, which I vehemently
disagree with. I go if you see those
players I love them, Paul Pogba, N’Golo Kante,
I’ve watched all of them. Like, I love those players
and I love how African they are and how
French they are. I don’t take their
Frenchness away but I also don’t think you need to
take their Africaness away. And that is what I
love about America. America is not a perfect
country but what I love about this place is that
people can still celebrate their identity in
their Americaness. You can go to a St. Patrick’s
Day parade in America celebrating that you are Irish. You can go to a Puerto
Rican day parade in America still celebrating the fact
that you are Puerto Rican and American at the same time. You can celebrate
Juneteenth as black person and be like “yo, I’m
African-American,” which is the duality
of the two worlds. But here they’re going,
“No you are only French.” (audience laughing) And here’s why it
vexes me, to be honest. This is what I find interesting, is like, when I read
stories from Africa and I watch what
politicians say, especially in France
about African migrants: when they are unemployed,
when they may commit a crime, or when
they are considered unsavory, it’s the
African immigrant. When their children go on to
provide a World Cup victory for France, we should only
refer to them as France. And we even saw it with
that African man who climbed the building to rescue the
baby, do you remember that? – [Audience] Yes. – We watched him
climb that building, he rescued the child and
then they gave him French citizenship, they said
you are now French. So now I’m going so is
he now no longer African? (audience laughing) Is that what you’re
saying? So when he was on the ground
he was African. (audience laughing) And then he climbed up
and as soon as he rescued the baby now he’s French.
So if he dropped the baby, The African dropped the baby. (audience cheering
and applauding) I don’t believe that you need and here’s like I would
say again with respect I understand what the
ambassador is saying. I’m not joining the attack
and I know don’t get me wrong, I know we live in a
world where like nuance is something that
is in short supply. And so you will find in
America for instance, the alt-right saying, “That’s
what we’ve been saying, they’re not French and
we’re saying but if Trevor says it it’s not racist, but
if we say it it’s racist.” Yeah, yeah. I’ll
say yeah, you know why? Because I believe
context is everything. There are certain things
you can say to somebody that like when I
say to my friends, What’s going on, my nigga?”
and if a white person came and said the same thing, yeah
there’s a big difference. (audience laughing) When I’m saying they’re
African I’m not saying it as a way to exclude
them from their Frenchness but I’m rather using it to
include them in my Africaness. I’m saying, “I see you my French
brother of African descent.” Do you know what I’m saying,
that’s what I’m trying to say, when somebody else
says it the other way. You can use the same
line in different ways. People are like,
so it’s different? Yeah, yeah it’s different,
it can be different. It’s like somebody saying, “So
if you play with your naked child it’s a problem but if
I do it I’m a pedophile?” Yeah, yeah there’s
a big difference. There’s a huge difference. (audience clapping) So I will continue to praise
them for being African because I believe that
they are of Africa. Their parents are from
Africa and they can be French at the same time. And if French
people are saying they cannot be both, then I think they
have a problem and not me. (audience cheering
and applauding)

100 Replies to “Trevor Responds to Criticism from the French Ambassador – Between The Scenes | The Daily Show

  1. I get his point and the embassador point, and i agree with both because the problem isnt either if they are french or african, its that have to "be" something, if a white person had the exact same roots than them, and now is french, no one would say his african and french, no one. What some countries need to learn, specially US is to stop putting categories to everything, start to see people as people a not has black/white/asian, etc.

    They are French because they live, work in france and have french nationality and they are a human been, finish. See here in spain we do have racisim, yet is not even as much as in france nor even close to the US. You know why, we got over it, we dont see a black men /woman as black, just men or woman, we dont see gay or lesbian as weird, just people with certain sexual orientation (tho i must admit LGBTI people are far from been 100 % accepted as normal, do to a old age population mainly).

    So guys, chill, love the other, treat other as you would like to be treat, and stop jumping at everything unless is of course to defent someone from a racist or a homophobic.

  2. I agree with the ambassador. In the eyes of white people you ARE your ethnic origin. Not American or American enough.

  3. As a white and black person I only deal in duality. I can’t introduce myself and say I’m a white or black woman. I have to say both.

  4. So many errors here made by Trevor:
    “Look at these Africans who can become French.”
    – They did not become French, they were born French.
    – If people called them African instead of French in any other context they would be criticized as racist and xenophobic.
    In that case others would say they were trying to deny them integration and were only accepting white people as French.
    – We expect other descendants from immigrants to accept their new national identity but black people should be seen as primarily African no matter for how many generations they have lived in France? That’s RACIST.
    – Trevor just assumes that they still have an African identity although they have been born and brought up outside of Africa. Sounds RACIST to me to force an identity upon them solely based on their ethnicity, an identity they might not even have.
    – Only if they indeed felt more African than French (which would be a failed integration) it would be correct to speak of an „African victory“.
    Conclusion: the ambassador was completely right in protesting against that very RACIST remark!

  5. Am I the only one who requires an African-American friend there with your friend to say, “yes, I gave him a pass”?

  6. They can't be both African and French simply because in your "joke" you don't say Africa AND France won the world. Compare what's comparable. Otherwise I love you dude. Afraid of the dark is one of the best standup I've ever seen!

  7. Why they cannot be humans and that's all? this stupidity of country names and patriotism I can't ever understand.

  8. I'm French, my parents are from China, you cannot be Chinese and French in the same time because France insn't a multicultural but multiracial country, we are not like America so keep your multicultural thing for yourself. Multiculturalism isn't French at all, it's an anglosphere concept.

  9. Now take a moment to think about this – here is a french goverment official saying 'These people are as French as i am' – there is a US goverment official saying 'Go back to where you came from'. While I appreciate and agreee with what Trevor is saying, I know which of these to over-simplified statements I'd prefer.

  10. My words to the French ambassador…if it wasn't for America,he'd be speaking German,and don't sweat it Trevor,the French always surrender

  11. Coming from someone who is usually very articulate and thoughtful, it's hard to see Trevor make such a rambling, nonsensical argument. This was very hard to watch.

  12. Oh how dumbo is trying to change our country. His racism must make you crazy. BTW I was so happy to see Michael Bennet as a guest on your show.

  13. Thing about France is that (and honestly it's not really my cup of tea but it's what the majority of the country follows) they follow Laïcité. They don't care what's your race, religion or ethnicity. You are French, no different from any other french, all equal and what not. To an extent most french are proud of this so like yea they would not like being referred to anything else other then being french I guess

  14. So, if South Africa win the rugby world cup, and I say, congratulations to Europe for winning the Rugby world cup, because I can relate to their European heritage… that is ok too? Ok, gotcha

  15. I love Trevaah he is a real citizen of this world. I so love that he is funny but even more so because HE MAKES SENSE.

  16. When I first heard him joke about how Africa won the worldcup, I have to say that I was kind of angry because what I understood from his statement was that they weren't French at all because of their skin color. But now that I hear him explain his joke, I understand and I completely agree with him.
    I even have an anecdote about this kind of acting: I live in France and not that long ago, Algeria won the Africa Cup. So of course all the French-Algerians were partying in the streets of France, and suddenly I heard a LOT of French people saying that they are denying their "Frenchness". And if you watched the video, I don't think that I need to explain what is wrong with this statement

  17. I have seen your show when you said "Africans" won the Wold cup… it was fun. Really. The Ambassador had not big sense of humor … and that is it… he should have let it go and maybe ask you kindly to invite him to your show: opportunity to enlighten people about the French Republic and its way to define itself and its citizens 🙂 Please keep up … and thanks

  18. First thing first, we can celebrate being French and African, but let me remind you that Africa is not a country nor a culture, that would narrow down the amazing cultural diversity of all African nations…

    Secondly, there is no problem in celebrating the Africanness and Frenchness of the players, and it's not prohibited in France to do so. However, when all the players were born in France, educated in France, are just basic French citizens, they sometimes have never been to the country of origin or their parents or grandparents, well they are not "African" and saying they are just because they're black is denying their real culture and origins…

    Third, players themselves have came up on social networks to tell Trevor that his comments were wrong.

    Finally, i'm fed up with racialist jokes, America is all about races, it's the less united nation on earth and so called progressives are participating to that division with this kind of remarks…

  19. When this video first came out, I initially got very angry at Trevor's posture on this topic, and got quite infuriated at how vehement and patronizing he got while basically scolding the French ambassador , and went on with a loaded tirade I posted on this very video within 24 hours of its publication. But months after, today, after viewing this anew, away from the original context, I suddenly understand his core points maybe a bit better and clearer. What he was basically calling out from the ambassador's words was the divide, or rather should I say frontier between a man "inherited identity" and "original descent". And indeed, when you pay attention to the passage he quotes, one could interpret his definition of nationality and citizenship being some sort of mercilessly indivisible monolith that de-facto discards anything your heritage could be about, that does not even qualify for a brief or jokish mention. Like there is a retroactive erasure of whatever your family's home country was before you came into this new world that adopted you.

    Now, I still do not agree or accept the generalization he rather pretentiously inserts of the whole of France as a republic where descent and home culture is somehow all but absent, not encouraged, or outright forbidden (namely the St Patricks that he mentions as a prime example to support his thesis, precisely where he couldn't be more wrong, since I was born and raised in Paris to Iranian parents, feel as much Persian as I feel so darn French and even more so Parisian, which is an identity of its own in the country, a bit like NYC in the US. And I know first hand such English tradition definitely exists and gets celebrated, aired and documented by the media BECAUSE it gets a that much public coverage every time, and bars, pubs and shops display a totally different outfit for the occasion. I eagerly participate every other year 🙂

    Now, one must understand the specifics of a given culture as well. And as Trevor mentions this : there is a context to everything. You can joke about the French national football team being an "African-looking" one when your name is Trevor, you're on the daily show, and people massively know what you and your show, thus takes, are precisely about, and can differentiate a joke , its scope, meaning and spirit without too much doubt or skepticism.

    But in French society, where integration and racism are common problem a bit like there are everywhere else in post-colonial states, just like the US of A has a black and latino problem of its own that to this day not only remains unresolved but is getting worse by the year, Trevor first in line quite brilliantly underlines on a regular basis via tragic news of police killing being way too common food for the job quite sadly, you cannot just pop a french citizen color, ethnic group or identity just like that out of the blue. The choice of presenting one's self as either a French, a French with African origin or an African with French papers belongs to each individual concerned.

    No, you do NOT allow yourself to publicly underline , hint a, or remind a public audience or a group of people at a party, workplace, street or restaurant, that somebody is Asian-looking, African-looking, Latino-looking or whatever-looking without making sure first that the person in question is OK with this kind of mention. In France, for the better and the worse, we indeed view identity, religion and "race" as purely personal, highly intimate notions and concepts. The state and/or society doesn't discourage or encourage their mention, but it certainly doesn't authorize just anyone, any stranger to suddenly appear into one's personal space and yell specifics of his ethnic looks on the public space, just like he wouldn't joke on his clothes, or style or whatever before making sure there is no offense involved or possible.

    Bottom line is : there is some kind of moral clearance (read familiarity) for a given person to be able to wave another person's identity around for her or him in the first place, and usually, that "permission" comes from knowing the said person more intimately than the average individual. That's pretty much as simple as that. Now of course, you can criticize, be skeptical of, find the whole thing totally hypocritical, a lot of sub-topics car arise from this observation.

    But you cannot just disqualify french society outright and their very notion of cultural identity and national heritage just like that, let alone put it morally below the States where we all know about similar if not more violent lingering wounds that keep plaguing their national fabric through persisting Confederate culture in central and southern states and killing people to this very day, which does not happen in France with such terrible magnitude, but again this is going off-topic.

    And do I even need to mention their current President's take on such issues ? no, since Trevor himself does a great job at pointing out every day and I thank him big time for it !!! 😀

  20. the French guy is right those people should only be called French not African French because you’re making them second class citizens like here in the US

  21. Ce présentateur a oublié sa propre histoire et celle de son pays mais il se permet de remettre en cause la citoyenneté française des champions du monde. Je ne sais pas si je dois rire ou pleurer.

  22. It's tribalism, the French can't do anything about it. Although, the French ambassador has the grander & progressive idea. Trevor is just being a comic. His justification is flawed. Even in an all white society, they discriminate you based on where your from. like how Your just dumber if you're from the southern states, etc. They will always look at where you come from, because it is known that there are certain traits that a group of people who've been living together share.

  23. But there's a key point Trevor is missing here. He is assuming that every person of African descent WANTS to be identified that way. If they do want to be recognised for both identities, great. But if not, that's also their choice. The idea that someone of African descent MUST be recognised as African even if they weren't born there whatsoever, is in itself potentially racist. There are Asian Americans who struggle because they don't want to be recognised as Asian American. Just American.

  24. Did he just assume that the players weren't Scandinavian, just because they were black and brown? Outrageous! I'm calling the Norwegian ambassador to the United States, right now! Trevor, expect a very cross letter, written in Norwegian accent!

  25. hmmm i do see the point of the french ambassador . while in the USA, there is nothing wrong and is encouraged to celebrate one's culture, this same identification is also used to seperate us.

    I am half cuban and half venezuelan, born and raised in the US. That is 3 different heritages I can celebrate, and I do. However, 2 of those heritages, can be and have been used to label me as "different" in US.

    But whatever, it was a joke. I still love trevor noah. He has an uncanny insight. also, good on him for being gracious in the face of criticism.

  26. I came from francophone country. We're only French when we won cups for them but when we lost they immediately label us as African and their remind us where we are from

  27. Many Europeans are no fun and get easily upset. Just deal with your awful history and stop pretending you're the moral culture.

  28. I'm black and French from Martinique and I hate hearing you telling this bullshits. Trevor Noah ha Absolutely scandalous words on colonialism. I'm a real French and the other French makes me feel as a real French

  29. I like how the croud is like Yea those racist frenchies …..but in real life theyr Not better ….hahaha typical American idiots

  30. Careful Trevor! This is a clear projections and a stereotypical biassed Yankee attitude toward France and French culture. It’s not a coincidence that you have Trump as president. And why call some Americans "African-American" in the first place? Most black folks was born in America. I was born in France with parents migrated to Sweden when I was 5 and I don't call my self a French-Swede.

  31. Wtf ? So we can call every black people in the US "Africans" and that would shock no one ? When your basketball teams win, you would be ok if we would call it an African victory ? 😂
    And France’s colonialism isn’t more horrible than America’s history with slavery buddy, yet we have the decency of still calling you an American.

  32. I love the part where he says how the French only acknowledge the African Immigrants when they are doing exceptionally well. Reminds me of some Kenyan old school fathers; when the child is well mannered, well tempered, performing well in school, that's HIS child, but when the child misbehaves that's the mother's child… Hehehehe

  33. America's duality didn't make them any favour. Every day there is shooting in america, how many in France?
    France's perspective works better than USA and yes, heroes do get citizenship as reward in every country, not just France.
    Trevor is really an idiot, just look at his channel and see the Black Hero / White Bad person ratio.

  34. TREVOR DIDN'T UNDERSTAND you cannot say they are african because they are french and European but they are of african descent, that you can say(trevor didn't chose his words very wisely)
    Unlike the US where racism is institutionalized it's illegal in France to categories people based on race. They are all french whatever the color of their skin. And France does not reject their origins at all it is celebrated (people have doble nationalities, couscous is the number one prefered dish in France etc…) but instead of seperating people based on their origin France choose to unite them, and everybody is considered the same.

    (african immigrants are african because they don't have the french nationality! Once people get the nationality they are considered french like every body else)

  35. It is extremely offensive when you are french and because of your origins people say you are not!

    Trevor said they were africans only (he didn't say French of african descent)

    The ambassador just wanted to defend the players

  36. Okay so I hope everyone in USA is fine with me saying that Africa won Basketball World cup in 2010 and 2014 cause that's what happened according to Trevor

  37. I've met non-white people from France and I've been told that racism does exist there so it sounds like Trevor was on point.

  38. When my mother came to America as a refugee, her passport said "Jew." She was never seen as a Moldovan. There was no way that a Jewish person could also be a true citizen of the Soviet Union. But when she came to America, she was Jewish American. Her passport said "American," and her culture said "Jewish." Denying the duality of someone's identity only serves to mask racism, not to eliminate it. If you don't see color, you don't see the beautiful rainbow of humanity and the distinct nature of the thousands of beautiful cultures that thrive in America.

  39. Trevor is just taking this too personally. And he's exaggerating because he feels attacked. 
    What about the NBA. Is it also African? And Serena Williams? 
    What would an american say if some public figure with world wide views would say "america didn't actually do anything, it was actually europeans, asians and africans that did everything that the US is taking credit for"? is that true? Nope!

  40. Trevor Noah you did not say it was a French African victory you said it was an African victory. You discounted the major role France had in this victory. And you ignored the role of players who were not African. Your argument about why can you not be both? Well you excluded their Frenchness in your joke. If you want to reduce racism in the world you should not promote exclusivity but instead you should advocate inclusivity. That joke was deliberately meant to be offensive, you were not celebrating the AFRICANNESS of the players, it was an up yours kind of joke. Comedians do this all the time, you too. And you don't even see how you are deliberately segregating your own African people.

  41. While there still are some racism issues, it's incredible how you Black people start to make a big deal of your skin color when you win something. White and Yellow people win and improve the world every day, it's not a big deal if you win a title in running.Its absolutely absurd to mention a mans race or continent next to a country which is not black(where he can actually achieve something in his life) .Lol- African American,French African, Australian African, Black Marsian etc.Always making a problem and acting like you are a victim when YOU ARE POINTING OUT THAT YOU ARE DIFFERENT.

  42. I am Asian and I have talked to many people from different countries, and let me tell you, the most racist countries are France and Britain with a huge gap to the others. Well, you know, there you can find a new racism, everyone who is not French or British, is not human. I do not want to cause any controversy, but this is the truth, and I felt it as an ordinary person who just wanted to learn about cultures by talking to the 'PEOPLE' of aforementioned countries, but I have received humiliation, invective, etc than a welcome. Of course, there are lots of exceptions, but the trend and government supports this idea and phenomenon. I think we should look again at the cause of WWII.

  43. Good to see someone calling out the colonial mentality . It never goes away. It keeps reinventing itself, acquiring a new face and adapting its discourse.

  44. No trevor the french got a good idea… Im hispanic and the fact that i can unit witg someone with a different race under tge american flag is the way you can get rid of racism… When you put people in different categories like what white supremies youll never get rid of racism only divide people cause ypu create and are separating people unit under one flag and racism will no longer exist… Unite instead of categorize but you are separating people yourself

  45. There is always talk about African Americans so he should've continued that by saying African French or French of African descent.

    On another note in my (European) opinion, the thing that the US does by labelling it's ethnicities creates segregation in society. In Europe most non far right wing people will refer to X generation immigrants as our own countries nationals as a way of inclusion into one society. Although using heritage is also used, for example Moroccan-Dutch, grouping people of a certain colour (e.g. Blacks) would be considered very offensive.

  46. This is deep sir….take a bow mr. This is how a society should organise itself. I am an Indian & I am proud one. We are poor from the perspective of the developed nations-UK/USA but we are the part of the oldest civilization & we have been colonized for over 190 years and we have been left with their debts. You present your jokes probably in a very humble manner & the impact is impressive. Ithink you are more than a comedian you are more like a thinker,philosopher,organizer in a nutshell-u are diverse in all aspect yet you present 'One-ness'. Your anguish over this french ambassador remark is just a pain of my heart also,sir. Love from India.💗

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