Culture Trips

Stephen Colbert on the royals: ‘This medieval selective breeding program might be racist’ | Late-night TV roundup

Stephen Colbert

On The Late Show, Stephen Colbert started by bringing up Oprah’s interview with Prince Harry and Meghan Markle: “Things got real, real quick.”

The much-watched interview featured many shocking moments, including the revelation that Markle approached the royal family’s human resources department for help. “You’d think someone in human resources would have stepped in to tell Henry VIII that chopping off his wife’s head could be considered a hostile work environment,” he said.

One of the bleakest moments in the interview was Markle revealing that an unnamed member of the royal family expressed concern over how dark their son’s skin might be. “I’m gonna go out on a limb here and say there’s a possibility, just a possibility mind you, that this medieval selective breeding program might be … racist,” Colbert pondered.

He continued:“It’s never good when the British ruling class think that someone’s skin is too dark. They steal their land and make them play cricket.”

Oprah spoke about the awkwardness of the situation. “Awkward is four people in the back seat of a car,” Colbert countered.

This week in the US there were also updated guidelines allowing for vaccinated older people to spend time with their unvaccinated younger relatives. “Yeah, so they can lord it over us,” he joked.

Russia has also reportedly been spreading disinformation about the efficacy of the vaccines approved in the US. “The last time Russia spread disinformation we wound up with an infection that took four years to clear up,” he joked.

Jimmy Kimmel

On Jimmy Kimmel Live, the host referred to the Harry and Meghan interview as “the most shocking gender-reveal party of all time”.

He also mentioned the tidbit about HR, joking that in Buckingham Palace they are “just as unhelpful as HR every place else”.

He too was shocked about Meghan’s remarks about her son’s skin colour. “Imagine [that] after centuries of inbreeding, all of a sudden these people are concerned about the colour of a baby’s skin,” he said.

“They should hope that the baby looks more like Meghan than Harry.”

The pair also claimed that one of the key reasons for them moving to the US was to avoid this kind of racism back in the UK. “You know things are bad at Buckingham Palace if they came to America to get away from racism.”

Seth Meyers

On Late Night, Seth Meyers compared the recent behaviour of the Democrats to the Republicans, starting with the rightwing outrage over Dr Seuss books being taken out of rotation because of racist portrayals. Republican Kevin McCarthy protested by reading Green Eggs and Ham on camera. “There’s nothing cringier than watching a grown adult in a suit read Dr Seuss to an empty room with no children about,” he said.

Meyers also reminded viewers that it was the publisher that chose to do this. “No one cancelled anything!” he said.

He continued: “One’s trying to deliver a massively popular relief bill and the other is holding story-time for ghost children.”

At the same time, Republicans have been trying to bring in new laws that would make voting harder for some, including communities of colour. One of their strangest new rules is that giving out food and water to those waiting in line to vote would be banned. “They’re cancelling snacks!” Meyers said.

He called the party “deranged and extreme and anti-democracy” and said the $1.9tn bill pushed by Democrats will reduce poverty by a third.

Republicans tried to stop it, including the Texas senator Ted Cruz, who lied to colleagues claiming it would send relief cheques to undocumented immigrants. Meyers said that he is “so bad at this he can’t even be subtle about his fearmongering” and like much of his party, he’s “unmoored from reality”.

He finished by expressing dismay that the Republicans are “sticking with a racist authoritarian criminal” as they try to conjure up the memory of Trump.

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