Earlier this week, following France’s win at the 2018 World Cup finals, Trevor Noah poked a little fun at the French national team by proudly declaring that “Africa won the World Cup,” owing to the fact that the majority of the stars on the French team are children of African immigrants. While the joke was obviously meant in good fun, Noah now finds himself embroiled in a high-profile feud with noted French celebrity Gérard Araud, the French Ambassador to the United States. In this behind-the-scenes segment, Noah shares the scathing letter he received from Araud, which he reads in his best French accent that certainly no one will find offensive:
“I heard your words about an ‘African victory.’ Nothing could be less true,” Noah reads before pointing out that some things could be further than the truth. “I could have said they were Scandinavian.” But Araud seems deadly serious in his complaints, saying that the team is “a reflection of France’s diversity” and Noah is attempting to erase the players’ French identities.
While the Daily Show host can’t help but point out this is actually a reflection of France’s colonial history, he takes Araud’s issue with his joke to heart. He understands that certain nationalist contingencies in France cite the players’ African heritage as a negative, claiming they’re not real Frenchmen. But, being a South African-born immigrant himself, Noah argues that erasing the players’ African heritage isn’t a solution to that problem. “Why can’t they be both?” he asks.
As far as we know, Gérard Araud has yet to fire back with his own heartfelt, comedic monologue. But, considering how these vicious celebrity beefs usually play out, we’re sure we’ll see a screencap from his Notes app sometime soon.
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