Popular Indian-origin comedian Hasan Minhaj has confirmed that he was denied entry at the 'Howdy Modi' event in Houston, and said the organisers "honoured" him while "blackballing" him.
In an appearance on Late Night with Seth Meyers, Minhaj narrated how things got “intense” when he tried to enter the venue on Sunday. "I was like I have to be there. So, we submit our press credentials immediately get an email back through saying, 'We're out of space'. I was like 'word'. Like, I've been to Indian weddings, you just walk in. You're out of space in a football stadium? Nah.
"So, I recheck with the organisers, 'Hey guys, it's my community, you get it?' I want to be there. And they're like, 'We're out of space but we'll discuss it'. I'm like 'okay'. And I'm like ‘I'm sorry for making fun of cricket. It's not a sport for farms, it's an international game that's taking over the world. They are like, ‘No, some of the comments you made about Prime Minister Narendra Modi were not appreciated and you've been blacklisted',” Minhaj told Meyers.
About 50,000 people of the Indian-American community attended the event at the NRG Stadium in Houston on Sunday that was jointly addressed by Modi and US president Donald Trump.
The comedian said he watched the event on his phone in the parking lot of NRG Stadium and saw many Indian-Americans, including fellow comedians like Mindy Kaling and Aziz Ansari, being honoured for their contribution to the field of arts.
He said he found it ironic that his photograph also popped up on the screen at the event as one of the achievers of the community. "They were honouring me for my comedy while also blackmailing and blackballing me and kicking me out for my comedy. It is the most Indian thing ever. They were like, 'We're proud of you but we'll never say it to your face,” Minhaj said as the audience roared with laughter.
On Monday, a video was doing the rounds on social media, in which the Patriot Act star was seen talking to a media coordinator on phone from the press registration desk outside the venue. In the call, which was on loudspeaker, Minhaj was enquiring the organiser about his credentials for the event."We're just trying to get our credentials," the comedian said.
"There are no credentials," the coordinator replied.
"But our credentials are right here," Minhaj said.
He then asked, "But you told me we were denied because of the jokes".
To this, the person on the phone replied, "No, I didn't say you were denied because of the jokes."
Minhaj said, "But some people were not happy."
The coordinator said, "Yeah, some people were not happy, but that doesn't matter to me much. The reason I can't get you in is due to the lack of space for broadcast crews."
Sharing a clip of his Late Night with Seth Meyers appearance, Minhaj tweeted on Tuesday, "Never got a chance to say Howdy Modi."
Never got a chance to say Howdy Modi.https://t.co/6nQn4Gl8VH
— Hasan Minhaj (@hasanminhaj) September 24, 2019
Minhaj had earlier faced a lot of heat on social media for his episodes on Lok Sabha election, the results of which saw Modi return for a second term with a thumping majority, and the recent clampdown in Kashmir after the abrogation of Article 370 ahead of the Independence Day.
With inputs from PTI
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Updated Date: Sep 27, 2019 11:07:21 IST