Comedian Hasan Minhaj has responded to an article in The New Yorker that accused him of lying about his experiences with racism during his stand-up routines.
The article, titled “Hasan Minhaj’s ‘Emotional Truths’,” alleged that Minhaj fabricated or enhanced stories in his stand-up specials.
In an exclusive video produced with The Hollywood Reporter, Minhaj responded to the allegations.
“There were omissions and factual errors in The New Yorker article that misrepresented my life story, so I wanted to give people the context and materials I provided The New Yorker with full transparency,” Minhaj said in a statement to The Hollywood Reporter.
Minhaj spends a decent chunk of time in the video discussing a story he told during his special Homecoming King. In the story, he explains how his prom date dumped him on prom night. His date’s mom tells him that the family was concerned about having prom pictures with a brown-skinned boy.
The New Yorker article suggests that this story is a lie. It said that the girl “turned down Minhaj, who was then a close friend, in person, days before the dance. Minhaj acknowledged that this was correct, but he said that the two of them had long carried different understandings of her rejection.”
The article also claimed that Minhaj attempted to humiliate the woman when she came to his show and demonstrated minimal concern about the impact the story had on her family.
In the video, Minhaj admits that the rejection did not happen the night of prom. However, he reiterates that he was dumped because of his race. He shows a series of emails between himself and “Bethany” throughout the years.
Minhaj also adds that the article made him feel horrible.
“The reason I feel horrible is because I’m not a psycho. But this New Yorker article definitely made me look like one. It was so needlessly misleading, not just about my stand-up, but also about me as a person. The truth is, racism, FBI surveillance and the threats to my family happened. And I said this on the record,” he says, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
Clare Malone, the author of the article, and the New Yorker have stood by the piece.
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