Photo: White House Denies Funny Man Stephen Colbert's Request to Document U.S. Citizenship Ceremony
Political funny man Stephen Colbert had hoped to feature and on-air naturalization ceremony on his Comedy Central show, but the White House has said no to that idea.
“The Colbert Report” was wanting to run the ceremony alongside Colbert’s interview with documentarian Alexandra Pelosi, whose documentary, “Citizen U.S.A.: A 50 State Road Trip” airs on July 4 on HBO.
Pelosi’s documentary revolves around new U.S. citizens across the country who are about to take their oath of allegiance to the Unite States, which is performed by the federal officials. Colbert had hoped to get one of these ceremonies on video.
When the Wrap contacted Pelosi about the government’s refusal to allow the taping, she said, “The government just doesn’t get it. ‘The Colbert Report’ is what America watches. This is Colbert Nation.”
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services released a statement on the matter saying, “The government made a unified decision to refrain from formatting a naturalization ceremony for a television show. We did so to ensure that the qualities of the ceremony are not impaired in any way. Our naturalization ceremonies remain open to the public.”
The statement from CIS’s press secretary Chris Bentley implied that the reason for denying the show access to a ceremony was due to the logistics of filming it for a television show.
However, many are likely to not see it this way, and the Wrap’s sources revealed that the White House was worried that the comical nature of the show proved a significant risk to the seriousness and importance of the ceremony.
Though, as a the Wrap wrote, “There’s also no indication that Colbert had any intention of mocking them: Making fun of hard-working people pursuing the American dream simply isn’t very funny.”