The TBS comedy program Full Frontal With Samantha Bee apologized Thursday for broadcasting a segment in which a writer who has talked about his cancer diagnosis was mocked for having what the program called “Nazi hair.”
Full Frontal, a topical satire hosted by Bee, a Toronto native, ran the segment Wednesday. It featured Michael Rubens, a correspondent for the show, attending the Conservative Political Action Conference in February.
Talking about how the conference had changed over time, a narrator for the segment said, “Just last year, CPAC was dominated by Ted Cruz supporters and chirpy little (expletive) with bow ties.”
The narrator added: “This year, the bow ties were gone and replaced by Nazi hair. Nazi hair. Nazi hair.” Each time the phrase was spoken, an image was shown of conference attendees with short haircuts.
One of those people was Kyle Coddington, a writer who contributes to publications like OUTSET, which covers conservative and libertarian politics and culture.
In a post at OUTSET on Thursday, its editor-in-chief, Stephen Perkins, wrote that Coddington “was diagnosed with stage four brain cancer and recently completed his first round of chemotherapy and radiation.”
Coddington wrote in a post last month on his Twitter account that his hair “slightly resembles” that of the far-right activist Richard Spencer, “but at least I have an excuse . . . cancer.”
In tweets posted early Thursday morning and directed at Bee, Coddington wrote: “Please delete this episode. I look like a balding potato.” He added: “Also, it’s not a Nazi haircut. Richard Spencer’s is, but mine’s from cancer.
Perkins said in his post on OUTSET: “On a personal note, as someone who has the pleasure of working with Kyle here at OUTSET, I urge Samantha Bee to release an apology for this sick attempt at a joke. Perhaps labeling someone because of their appearance is not the best approach.”
A Twitter post from the official Full Frontal account said Thursday: “We deeply apologize for offending @_that_kyle in our CPAC segment. We only learned of his condition today & have removed him from the piece.”
On Thursday afternoon, Full Frontal had removed the segment from public viewing on its YouTube site, though Perkins had embedded it in his OUTSET post.
Jo Miller, a Full Frontal executive producer, said in an email Thursday: “We’ve apologized to Mr. Coddington and his family members and we are donating to the GoFundMe account for his treatment. We wish him all the best in his fight against cancer and sincerely, deeply regret offending him and his family.”
Coddington and Perkins did not immediately respond to requests for further comment Thursday afternoon.