After France took home their World Cup trophy, The Daily Show’s Trevor Noah joked that Africa had won the World Cup. This joke did not sit well with Gérard Araud, the French ambassador to the United States, who apparently watches The Daily Show “with great attention.” The ambassador wrote Noah a strongly worded letter, which the host then read to his studio audience during a break in filming. The ambassador condemned Noah’s African victory joke by saying “nothing could be less true,” and chastised the comedian for “erasing” the French identity of the players.
The host responded to the ambassador’s outrage with some understanding of the racial (and colonial) politics of France, but then explained, “context is everything.” For instance, one African immigrant praising the sons of other African immigrants by celebrating their Africanness is not the same as a far right French dude yelling at the players to go back to Africa, presumably while threatening them with a baguette. He also stands up for America in a nice way that’s pretty rare to see in 2018, but, if anything can make you feel patriotic towards America, it’s an argument with the French.