The New Yorker on Friday published a revelatory piece which investigated the actions of comedian Hasan Minhaj, a former host of Netflix's Patriot Act. It uncovered that Minhaj had constructed several stories that became part of his show and stand-up routines. These fabrications included a story about a prom date breaking up with him due to his ethnicity, an account of recognizing an FBI informant surveilling the Muslim community in his neighborhood, a tale about receiving an envelope containing a suspicious white substance, which he believed to be anthrax, and accidentally spilling it on his daughter, leading to a hospital visit.
In nearly every instance, Minhaj consistently portrayed himself as a target of racism, often casting himself as a hero confronting it, or sometimes both. Furthermore, there were additional instances of misinformation. For instance, he publicly confronted Jared Kushner for occupying a seat at a Time 100 Gala that had supposedly been reserved for a detained Saudi activist, even though there was no record of such a reserved seat. Additionally, the contentious tweets aimed at him, which were showcased during his 2022 Netflix stand-up special, "The King's Jester," were manipulated for comedic effect. However, the most disconcerting claim was that "Three women had engaged an attorney and threatened to sue Netflix and the production company behind 'Patriot Act,' alleging gender discrimination, harassment based on sex, and retaliatory actions." Minhaj also asserted that the legal matter had been settled out of court.
Regarding Minhaj's response, he defended himself in his conversation with The New Yorker by emphasizing, "In life, you must seize the opportunities presented to you, even if they may be grounded in untruths... Embracing the emotional truth takes precedence, with factual accuracy following behind."
The significance of these revelations about Minhaj lies in recent developments. Reported emerged last month that he was being considered as "a potential candidate" to succeed Trevor Noah as the host of The Daily Show. It's worth noting that Minhaj was the final correspondent recruited by Jon Stewart for The Daily Show, serving in that capacity from 2014 to 2018. Multiple reports have indicated that Minhaj is currently among the "top three contenders" for the hosting position. However, it's important to mention that "no formal agreement has been reached with any talent" at this time. This decision is pending as Comedy Central intends to wait until after the conclusion of the writers' strike before officially announcing its new host.