Jon Stewart audience laughs as he appears to agree guest Andrew Sullivan is 'racist'

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Jon Stewart, former “Daily Show” host and host of Apple TV+’s “The Problem With Jon Stewart,” appeared to agree with guest Lisa Bond on a recent show after she called British-American author and political commentator Andrew Sullivan racist.

Charles Gallagher, Lisa Bond of Race2Dinner, and Sullivan joined Stewart to discuss “how White Americans can take responsibility for upholding racist systems.” 

Sullivan asserted that “calling today White supremacy, you are minimizing actual White supremacy,” asking Stewart to elaborate on the racist “systems” that were “put in place.”  

Stewart said he had already explained this, but noted “housing” and the “G.I. Bill” and then said that Sullivan was living on a different planet. 

Jon Stewart holds his awards for Outstanding Writing For A Variety Series and Outstanding Variety Talk Series for Comedy Central’s "The Daily Show With Jon Stewart" during the 67th Primetime Emmy Awards in Los Angeles, California September 20, 2015. REUTERS/Mike Blake/File Photo
(REUTERS/Mike Blake/File Photo)

“I think you are not living on the planet most Americans are, which is why this kind of extremism, this anti-White extremism is losing popular support,” Stewart said. Bond chimed in and said Sullivan was perpetuating “racist, dog-whistle tropes.”

“I did not come on this show to sit here and argue with another White man. That’s one of the reasons we don’t even engage with White men at Race2Dinner,” Bond said, adding that she was “shutting” Sullivan down.

Bond’s Race2Dinner, which was founded by Regina Jackson and Saira Rao, gathers eight to 10 women for a dinner who want to dismantle their racist behavior or beliefs, according to NBC’s “TODAY.”

She said that “every single White person upholds these systems and structures of White supremacy” and argued that everyone has to talk about it. She was met with significant applause from the audience.

Nov. 10, 2015. Jon Stewart performs at the 9th Annual Stand Up For Heroes event, in New York.
(The Associated Press)

“If I could finger snap, I would finger snap right now,” Stewart said, agreeing with Bond. Sullivan interjected and said that by finger snapping, Stewart would be agreeing with Bond that he was a racist. 

“You’ve been doing a pretty good job with it yourself there,” Stewart said, as the audience laughed.   

Stewart told Jake Tapper in October 2021 that the media’s fixation on blaming Donald Trump for the stark political divide in the country was a “mistake” and could distract from other threats. 

Host Jon Stewart performs his intro at the 78th annual Academy Awards in Hollywood, March 5, 2006. REUTERS/Gary Hershorn
(REUTERS/Gary Hershorn)

“I think it’s a mistake to focus it all on this one individual and not to focus it more on the idea that power is its own reward whether it be in the financial industry or government. Power doesn’t cede itself, and unless we can figure out a better way to balance out that power … we’ll be vulnerable,” he said at the time.  

Stewart’s show on Apple TV+ first aired in September 2021 and was criticized by Rolling Stone, among others. The Guardian’s headline read, “The Problem with Jon Stewart review – full of righteous rage but not very funny.”

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