Sounds like a lot of Progressives. Comic Hasan Minhaj Admits He Makes Up Stories About Experiencing Racism — and Doesn’t Regret Smearing Real-Life Acquaintances.
Comedian Hasan Minhaj has admitted to inventing several first-person tales of facing discrimination — including a racist attack on his daughter — that undergird his standup comedy act and his politically-themed TV shows.
Minhaj, born in 1985 in the United States to Muslim Indian immigrants, made a name for himself on The Daily Show and his own Netflix comedy series, Patriot Act with Hasan Minhaj. He won a Peabody Award in 2018 for the short-lived (2018-2020) Netflix series.
The comedian has become a favorite among left-wingers for skewering America as a hateful and inherently racist country, often with personal stories of discrimination against him and his family.
Minhaj — who joined Comedy Central’s The Daily Show with Jon Steward in 2014 — made headlines as host of the 2017 White House Correspondents’ Association dinner (WHCD), where he ripped President Donald Trump, calling him the “liar-in-chief” and “the orange man behind the Muslim ban.”
His comedy was even panned by Saudi Arabian officials, who forced Netflix to remove one of his 2019 episodes of Patriot Act that criticized the Kingdom over the Jamal Khashoggi incident.
Minhaj relays several stories during his show. To name a few, he has claimed that a white girl refused to go to a high school homecoming dance with him, tells the tale of a “brother Eric” who infiltrated a mosque for the FBI, and even told the harrowing tale of an envelope with “white powder” in it spilling all over his daughter.
He also tells the story of Donald Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner arrogantly sitting in a chair reserved for a formerly imprisoned Saudi activist at a Time 100 gala in 2019. He now admits that never happened.
At long last, Minhaj has admitted that none of these stories of discrimination ever happened, though he tells them on stage and on TV as if they are real.
In an interview with the New Yorker, Minhaj explained that he tells all these false stories for “emotional truth” and that none of them really happened to him.
“Every story in my style is built around a seed of truth,” Minhaj explained. “My comedy… is 70 percent emotional truth and then 30 percent hyperbole, exaggeration, fiction.”
The comedian went on to say that, in his opinion, the “emotional truth is first. The factual truth is secondary.”
The magazine had spent some time trying to track down some of the people that Minhaj mentions in his “emotional truth” stories on stage, but it was unable to verify most of the claims he makes. The magazine also discovered that some of the people he mentions in his act have tried to get him to stop using their names and stories, but Minhaj has ignored their requests.
The “white girl” who supposedly left him standing at her front door and ditched him for homecoming, for instance, says that no such incident ever occurred and that she had turned him down many days before when he first asked her to the dance. She also says that she and her family frequently face online attacks when Minhaj fans link her real identity to the fake anecdote.
The magazine also found out that the “brother Eric” who Minhaj claims infiltrated a mosque never did any such thing. Indeed, the man said he was in prison in 2002, the year Minhaj said he was infiltrating a mosque for the FBI. Minhaj admitted that the whole story was a fiction made up for his show.
The story of his daughter being exposed to a “white powder” sent to him in the mail, supposedly causing him to take the girl to the hospital, also turns out to be fake. Minhaj says that he did receive an envelope with white powder in the mail, but he just threw it out and his daughter was never exposed to it.
Minhaj even admitted that his wife has not been happy with his race-obsessed comedy because it has put a target on their children.
“You get to say whatever you want onstage, and we have to live with the consequences. I don’t give a s**t that Time magazine thinks you’re an influencer. If you ever put my kids in danger again, I will leave you in a second,” he told the magazine that his wife said during a recent argument.
The magazine also found instances of alleged sexism in the writers room of his TV series, Patriot Act. Several female researchers who were hired as “fact-checkers” for the political stories Minhaj used as fodder for his comedy said that they were eventually shunted out of the show and that Minhaj only relied on male writers.
“[Minhaj] just assembled people around him to make him appear different and much smarter and more thoughtful. But those people—the smart people and hardworking people—were treated poorly for bringing the perspective that he is celebrated for,” one female writer told the New Yorker.
In fact, several female employees filed a lawsuit against Minhaj and Netflix for gender discrimination in a case that was eventually settled out of court. The lawsuit was only revealed after Netflix canceled Patriot Act.
Despite the flood of lies. all personalized as if they actually happened in his life, Minhaj told the magazine that he does not regret his actions.
“I don’t think I’m manipulating. I think they are coming for the emotional roller-coaster ride. To the people that are, like, ‘Yo, that is way too crazy to happen,’ I don’t care because yes, f*** yes—that’s the point. It’s grounded in truth,” he insisted.
“I think what I’m ultimately trying to do is highlight all of those stories. Building to what I think is a pointed argument as opposed to a ‘pointless riff’ of jokes,” Minhaj explained.