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Usually, no one bats an eye if someone lies in a comedy routine. But Hasan Minhaj might have gone too far. The comedian has recently come under fire for having fabricated many of the stories in his comedy, which is very political in nature.
“I mean, calling it comedy is kind of a stretch, in my opinion, so let’s just say his style of commentary/stand-up material,” Lauren Chen notes before diving into exactly what Minhaj has been accused of.
“You see, as part of his social justice advocacy, Hasan likes to talk about different experiences that he has had as a person of color, as a Muslim in America,” she explains.
While Chen is well aware that he’s using these stories for a comedy routine, whether they’re funny or not, she is also well aware that lying about stories that are being used to illustrate how bigoted America is completely crosses the line.
“If you ask me at least, it is kind of a big deal that these stories aren’t even real. Like, if America is so bigoted and racist and Islamophobic, wouldn’t you have real stories you could use to illustrate that point?” she asks.
In a recent New Yorker article, which Chen is surprisingly impressed by, Minhaj is quoted as telling the journalist, “Every story in my style is built around a seed of truth.”
“It seems like a stretch to say that there is any 'seed of truth' in these stories because they are completely fabricated,” she comments.
One of Minhaj’s stories involves an FBI informant, “Brother Eric,” who attempted to infiltrate his Muslim community growing up. The man was later identified on the news as Craig Monteilh, and Minhaj recalled recognizing him in his story and telling his father, “Well, well, well, Papa, look who it is. It’s our good friend Brother Eric.”
Monteilh told the New Yorker reporter that Minhaj’s story was a complete fabrication.
“I have no idea why he would do that,” Monteilh said.
Minhaj also reportedly included a story in his special that claims he was sent anthrax as a result of his show “Patriot Act.” In his joke, Minhaj claims his daughter was then rushed to the hospital.
According to the New York Police Department, which investigates these kinds of incidents, no such incident involving Minhaj or his daughter was ever reported. Former employees associated with Minhaj’s show do not recall the incident either.
“That’s right, Hasan Minhaj lied about his daughter being rushed to the hospital after potentially being exposed to anthrax powder,” Chen says, bewildered.
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