Recently Viacom’s president Doug Herzog sat down in front of a collective of professionals at this year’s PromaxBDA’s convention. During his talk as one of the event’s keynote speakers he commented on the recent twitter controversy surrounding Trevor Noah’s hire at The Daily Show. In detail, Herzog retold his reaction to the uproar that occured, and went on to mention that Noah’s job was never considered to be on the line.
“I think they’ll be teaching that someday, in the college courses they’ll teach on Twitter,” Herzog said, relating that the whole thing happened while he was on vacation. “I was sitting there alone, not in the office. … I’m just sitting back and watching my Twitter explode. It was unpleasant. But that’s a very particular dark place.” Herzog admitted that they didn’t vet Noah’s Twitter history before the hire. But he didn’t think they needed to — and still doesn’t. Explaining how Noah came to be a Daily Show contributor and adding that, from the start of that relationship, Noah was a contender to replace Stewart, he said “we’re not in the business of censoring people.” While the network has standards for what airs, “in terms of jokes people do in their stand up routine or on Twitter, no.” Herzog also defended Noah’s jokes, arguing that some were out of context, some “just weren’t funny enough,” but insisted that he wouldn’t have done anything differently. He admits they probably shouldn’t have been as surprised by the controversy as they ended up being, however. By the time Stewart made the news of his departure public, Comedy Central had known for months. But when the news went public, “it was overwhelming.” Herzog said, “I should have been more prepared for how people might react.” But, he insisted, “there was never ever any moment where we weren’t behind this guy.”
Trevor’s Daily Show take over is set for September 28th.