Comedian Lilly Singh, who made the leap from YouTube to late night TV just last week, has apologised for an on-air joke that compared turbans to bath towels.
Some members of the Sikh religion, who wear turbans for spiritual reasons, were angered by her remarks on NBC.
On Twitter she apologised for the “painful” and “stupid joke”.
The 30-year-old Indian-Canadian has used her platform to often call out public figures who she says deserve to be “cancelled” for their offenses.
“In hindsight I recognise that was a disrespectful and problematic joke… And I’m very sorry,” she wrote.
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In an interview that aired on Thursday on her programme, A Little Late with Lilly Singh, she compared children drying their hair with twisted towels to her “Punjabi friends”.
“This was the first episode of the show I ever taped and I was very nervous, doing improv that wasn’t well thought out,” she wrote in her apology.
“I don’t wear a turban and I haven’t lived that experience and so I really value people giving perspective,” she added.
The overwhelming majority of Twitter users praised her apology but some were less positive.
Along with her text apology, she also shared a video from comedy website Funny or Die, about a turban-wearing Sikh man.
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what happens when you make your entire act about race lol
— ? (@justTooBreezy) September 27, 2019
I have never found Lilly Singh’s humor funny. However, I’ve given her benefit of the doubt bc she’s a brown woman in Hollywood, so representation..or w/e. But this towel/turban debacle is not ok. That comparison has historically been used in a racist way against Sikhs. Not cool??
— nkg???? (@teenvanruak) September 26, 2019