Yesterday Ben Shapiro’s Daily Wire drew gasps on social media when it posted a Columbus Day video which depicted Native Americans as literal bloodthirsty cannibals who were saved from their own savagery by kindly Christopher Columbus, who bestowed literacy, science, and “not-scalping” upon them.
Shapiro at first defended the clip as merely clumsy satire, but this afternoon he has reversed. His statement:
On Monday morning, while on vacation, I was made aware of a satirical video that went up at Daily Wire’s Facebook page and Twitter without my input or approval regarding Columbus Day.
I was uncomfortable with the video, but in the interests of giving my employees the benefit of the doubt — and in the interests of defending satire more broadly — I decided to leave the video up. That was a mistake, and I apologize fully for it.
After 24 hours of not sleeping, I decided that I couldn’t live with the video being left up in my name. Yes, the video was satire. In my opinion, it was bad satire. It did not fulfill my editorial guidelines. It skipped over the grace injustices visited upon Native Americans, and it engaged in broad-based stereotyping. The video has been removed.