Anita Sarkeesian on Colbert Report

Hey everyone, in precision timing in light of yesterday’s lecture, Sarkeesian appeared on last night’s episode of the Colbert Report, where he dishes out a summary of #GamerGate and the hostility directed at women.

Of course, the interview’s exacted in Colbert fashion, but it’s compelling in its own right.


About Steph Roman

2015 University of Pittsburgh grad with majors in nonfiction writing and English literature. Formerly of the Pitt News and PublicSource. I like games and nerd culture in general.
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6 Responses to Anita Sarkeesian on Colbert Report

  1. Thanks for sharing this Steph. Serendipity.


  2. jmc211 says:

    Here’s a link to the video on Colbert’s website as well, since the Youtube video got taken down:—anita-sarkeesian


  3. mjp99 says:

    You have to hate Colbert’s parodic mode here… he’s damn good at undercutting the discussion with the “easy out’ a bigoted argument can make, playing the victim role that gamespace is the male’s right to enact his desire (I think male dominant gamespace, when viewed citically, calls into question a belief of the male as active and female as passive since games are such an ‘actionable’ media) – when in fact, from Sarkeesian’s perspective gamespace is beautiful, plastic, experimental space, where instead of upholding or enacting the desires untenable (due to social codes) in the real world, giving them an unmediated, anonymous space to manifest, gamespace should instead be a free space where the conceptions of sexuality and identity can be challenged and their failures played through, so to speak.

    Although Colbert’s interviews suffer from what I feel is a trampling effect, his assumed “fair-and-balanced” perspective following the undeniably left leaning Daily Show in Comedy Central’s lineup, because of his showmanship – which interestingly I think adds to his stakes at other points – and parodying; he tends to step on the toes of the guests he features (although many people have upset this by completely outwitting his right-wing ‘character’). Unfortunately what could be an open and compelling discussion is almost slapstick, coating the bare necessities of the issue at hand but often only serving to hold up Colbert’s cultural image instead of really engaging the issues at the table. It assumes in a way that we will get how he is playing middle-‘American’ Devil’s advocate, and sometimes seems obsessed with television’s need to be constantly engaging and dramatic, at least in news reporting and opinion programs, rather than informative – which is a neat, critical stance relative to the medium but at this point I doubt many of Colbert’s audience need reminding, and instead would appreciate instead an intelligent discourse with something at stake aside from an on camera character assuming the reductionist and male-dominant. bigoted, perspective who is always actively criticizing his own media presence. Arguably Colbert expects his audience to know his true standing on the issues, his political stance behind the tv personality – you can see it in his mannerisms, his sly facial expressions, but at times I’m just damn frustrated by it when the space (like gamespace) could be better used to explore pertinent social issues.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Steph Roman says:

      I like your complete and thorough breakdown of Colbert’s character, and I find it astute. Yet that’s what I find endearing about him, even if he is always undermining his guests and the issues they represent. Some of them come prepared to turn his tactics back on him, and in this case, the very end of the interview (which reads to me as fairly scripted) makes this abundantly clear: Sarkeesian ends up asking HIM questions, and the clip ends with her declaring Colbert a feminist.

      It’s off-color humor to some, but I think the conclusion really sells the stakes, even if they’ve been addressed in a totally ironic/ sarcastic mode until that point.

      Liked by 1 person

      • devilzadv0k8 says:

        Yeah, I understand mjp99’s frustration, but it seems like such a short time slot is never enough to give issues as much consideration as they deserve. It’s more just to let people know about the work people who study/care about these issues are doing, not to change anyone’s mind.

        But Steph is right about the feminism moment. Colbert is at his best when he’s deep in character, but is still able to eloquently parody such right-wing bigotry.


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