CBS host Stephen Colbert on Wednesday defended his controversial “Late Night” joke that ignited calls for his resignation from CBS, insisting while he doesn’t “regret” his words, they “were cruder than they needed to be.”
“Welcome to ‘The Late Show.’ I’m your host, Stephen Colbert,” Colbert said on Wednesday’s show, Variety reports. “Still? I am still the host? I’m still the host!!”
Colbert was referring to renewed calls to #FireColbert, a hashtag that gained increased attention after the “Late Show” host’s opening Monday night, wherein he defended fellow CBS host John Dickerson against Trump’s attacks by declaring, “Sir, the only thing your mouth is good for is being Vladimir Putin’s c*ck holster” (“sir,” in this case, referring to U.S. president Donald J. Trump).
Colbert’s remarks prompted calls for CBS to fire the beloved host. The host addressed those calls, arguing Trump has a much more powerful platform than he.
“Now, if you saw my monologue Monday, you know that I was a little upset at Donald Trump for insulting a friend of mine,” Colbert continued. “So at the end of that monologue I had a few choice insults for the president in return. I don’t regret that. He, I believe, can take care of himself. I have jokes; he has the launch codes. So, it’s a fair fight.”
Still, he acknowledges the phrase “c*ck holder” conjured some consternation among the LGBT community, who regard the term as homophobic.
“So while I would do it again, I would change a few words that were cruder than they needed to be,” Colbert continued. “I’m not going to repeat the phrase, but I just want to say for the record, life is short, and anyone who expresses their love for another person, in their own way, is to me, an American hero. I think we can all agree on that. I hope even the president and I can agree on that. Nothing else. But, that.”