CBS has made a five-year deal with Colbert, which was announced Thursday by CBS Corp. Letterman announced his pending 2015 retirement on April 3.
"Simply being a guest on David Letterman's show has been a highlight of my career," Colbert said. "I never dreamed that I would follow in his footsteps, though everyone in late night follows Dave's lead. I'm thrilled and grateful that CBS chose me. Now, if you'll excuse me, I have to go grind a gap in my front teeth."
Comedy Central released this statement: "Comedy Central is proud that the incredibly talented Stephen Colbert has been part of our family for nearly two decades. We look forward to the next eight months of the ground-breaking Colbert Report and wish Stephen the very best."
The tweet in question was intended to tie in to Wednesday night's episode of The Colbert Report in which they discussed the hypocrisy of the Washington Redskin's owner Dan Snyder, who responded to criticism by creating a foundation to help provide more opportunities for "Original Americans."
But without room to adequately reference that announcement in a satirical way per usual of the program, the words alone came across as simply racist. Thus an outburst of negative responses from the show's Twitter followers:
#CancelColbert because these "jokes" once justified exclusionary acts, internment camps, atom bombs, napalm, and the murder of Vincent Chin.— Bhaswati Chattopadhy (@BhaswatiChat) March 28, 2014
stop saying "it was a joke" as if a joke can't be harmful. yeah, it *was* a joke. *and* it's harmful.— Black Girl Dangerous (@BlackGirlDanger) March 28, 2014
The Twitter account later Thursday night clarified: