Trevor Noah refuses to apologise for joking about Aboriginal women
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Trevor Noah refuses to apologise for joking about Aboriginal women

Trevor Noah has refused to apologise for past jokes about the appearance of Aboriginal women.

Earlier this week, there were calls to boycott The Daily Show host's upcoming Australian tour over comments he made during a 2013 stand-up routine.

"All women of every race can be beautiful," he said at the time. "And I know some of you are sitting there now going, 'Oh Trevor... I've never seen a beautiful Aborigine.' But you know what you say? You say, 'Yet.' Because you haven't seen all of them, right?"

Prominent Australians slammed Noah's comments – including author Dr Anita Heiss and former NRL player Joe Williams – and called on him to apologise.

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But The Daily Show host has told the ABC he doesn't plan on saying sorry.

The Daily Show host has refused to apologise over his 2013 comments.

The Daily Show host has refused to apologise over his 2013 comments.Credit:Comedy Central

"We live in a world where people want to unearth things that have already been unearthed," he told Triple J's drive program.

"I was responding to comments about certain women being called unflattering in South Africa. So, you know, it's one of those things where if you were to make the joke again you would make it better.

"When I came to Australia, I was lucky enough to meet an Aboriginal woman in one of the museums in Melbourne. She said, 'Hey, I've seen your stuff and let me tell you why that joke – in Australia – was particularly hurtful'."

Noah said he has since educated himself about the discrimination facing Australia's first peoples, but he said he never intended to "hurt" anybody.

"I'm not trying to hurt people with comedy otherwise I'd get into a different job. If I'm not trying to hurt people with the joke, then I see no reason to hold onto the joke," he said.

"That's why, you know, people have to go to find a joke from 2013 to basically speak about it. Because the joke isn't done anymore.

"But I understand how outrage works... people generally don't want to listen or understand from their side. They go, no, we're angry. So all you can do is fall back and say, hey, I've addressed this."

Numerous Australians have said Noah's explanation isn't good enough. Chelsea Bond, a broadcaster on Brisbane community radio station 98.9 FM, said he should have apologised.

"It isn't that hard," she wrote on Twitter. "Just say sorry and never use intention as a criteria for racism... 2013 was not the 1960s.

"It was the same year that the Black Lives Matter movement was instigated. This was the actual 'historical' and 'cultural' context of your dehumanising joke about Aboriginal women.

"I'm guessing not all black lives matter, huh?"

The Daily Show host will be touring Australia next month. His local tour kicks off at Melbourne's Hisense Arena on Thursday, August 23, followed by shows in Perth, Brisbane and Sydney.