Hummus not humorous: BDS slams Stephen Colbert for product placement

Published September 13th, 2015 - 11:00 GMT

Anti-Israel activists were angered over a Sabra hummus product endorsement during the first episode of the “Late Show” with new host Stephen Colbert Tuesday night.

In the beginning of the show, Colbert, who replaced David Letterman, turned the product placement for the chickpea dip into a satirical sketch.

Colbert, who is known for his biting satire of US politics, joked that in order to get the coveted position as the host of the show, he had made a “blood oath” on a cursed amulet of an Assyrian god.

In return for the favor, Colbert would be forced to make “certain regrettable compromises,” which consisted of promoting Sabra hummus. Throughout the three-minute-long segment, the amulet made ominous sounds reminding the host to plug the Middle Eastern spread.

While the audience was heard laughing during the segment, supporters of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement, which promotes embargoes on Israeli product as a punishment for what it sees as unfair treatment of Palestinians, found the endorsement less than humorous.

Sabra is a target of BDS activists because it is co-owned by the Israel-based Strauss Group, which has provided care packages to the Golani Brigade, an infantry unit of the Israel Defense Forces.

Palestinian-American actress Maysoon Zayid played along with Colbert’s joke that the amulet was forcing him to plug Sabra, saying the endorsement was part of his pact to do “the devil’s bidding” on Twitter.


Omar Baddar, who previously led the Palestine Cultural Center for Peace in Boston, wrote that “an evil curse is the explanation for why @colbertlateshow is advertising #Aparthreid [sic] Sabra Hummus.”

Sabra, meanwhile, called Colbert’s endorsement “a great honor,” according to the Israeli news site Ynet.

“Although they didn’t do it for free, he and his people could have turned to any other American company and they still chose us,” said CEO Shali Shalit-Shoval.

Shalit-Shoval added that Colbert, “a famous hummus fan,” had plugged the brand twice before during his previous gig as host of Comedy Central’s “The Colbert Report.”

Colbert rose to fame for his performances on news-parody series “The Daily Show,” and moved on to hosting “The Colbert Report” before joining “The Late Show.”


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