The Federal Communications Commission will not take any action in response to complaints over the May 1 broadcast of "The Late Show With Stephen Colbert," in which Colbert said in his opening monologue, "the only thing [Trump's] mouth is good for is being Vladimir Putin's c— holster."
Some of the complaints that came in to the FCC argued Colbert's joke was "homophobic."
"Sir, you attract more skinheads than free Rogaine," Colbert said near the end of the insult-laden rant. "You have more people marching against you than cancer. You talk like a sign language gorilla that got hit in the head. In fact, the only thing your mouth is good for is being Vladimir Putin's c–k holster." The final remark has drawn the internet's ire, with viewers taking to social media to declare Colbert is homophobic.The hashtag #FireColbert began spreading around Twitter, along with calls for people to boycott sponsors of the late-night show.
"Consistent with standard operating procedure, the FCC's Enforcement Bureau has reviewed the complaints and the material that was the subject of these complaints," the FCC statement reads. "The Bureau has concluded that there was nothing actionable under the FCC's rules."
Colbert's remark was bleeped out of the broadcast and his mouth was blurred.
The FCC's conclusion means that it found that Colbert's remark did not rise to the level of obscenity or indecency to warrant any kind of sanction or fine. That appeared to be highly unlikely, given the circumstances. Broadcasters have a safe harbor for indecent or profane content between 10 p.m. and 6 a.m., although they can face penalties for airing obscene content at any hour.
Several days after the broadcast, FCC Chairman Ajit Pai was asked about complaints over the remarks, and he said that they would be looked into. All complaints are reviewed by the FCC, but the agency does not monitor programming.