Last night, somewhere between Regina King being deservedly celebrated and Green Book getting begrudgingly acknowledged, Trevor Noah gave a unique introduction to Best Picture nominee Black Panther. The Daily Show host, who was born and raised in South Africa, cheekily referred to his time growing up in Wakanda under the rule of King T’Challa. He then ended on a more sentimental note, delivering a heartfelt message in the Bantu language of Xhosa. At least, that’s what he led viewers to believe.
In reality, as a number of outlets have reported, the phrase Noah claimed translates to, “In times like these, we are stronger when we fight together than when we try to fight apart,” actually translates to “White people don’t know that I’m lying.”
Considering very few people in the Dolby Theater audience were fluent in Xhosa, this bit of trolling was more for the benefit of select viewers at home. Or maybe it was just to make Noah himself laugh. Regardless, it’s a very good bit and fitting for the ceremony that, again, chose to celebrate the “comforting liberal fantasy” that is Green Book.
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