By Migizi Pensoneau
Sobbing and accusatory, she and the others left. From there, we took a break to reset the room, and we did our panel. This one went incredibly well and I’m proud to have been a part of it. The producer, crew and Jones were wonderful to us, and we all walked out of there with hugs and smiles. It was 180 degrees from the previous panel, and we were happy about it.
The next morning, football Sunday, the three of us went to FedEx Field as part of the show. “The Daily Show” taped us wandering around the “Redskins Nation” tailgate, though that never made it on air. I, rather naively, thought maybe we’d be able use our presence at the tailgate as a way to showcase our humanity, and let the Washington Team know that there are Native Americans out there who are among them—real people not relegated to the eternal myth of history. Maybe we’d change a mind or two. Or, at least, maybe some ignorant hilarity could be caught on camera. It was worth a try, so with a camera crew following us, one little, two little and a third big Indian struck out into FedEx Field’s Redskin Nation tailgate.
That did not go as I’d hoped.
There were points during that hour-long experience where I actually was afraid for my life. I have never been so blatantly threatened, mocked or jeered. It was so intense, so full of vitriol that none of the footage ended up being used in the segment. I’m a big dude—6’1”, and a lotta meat on the bones. But a blonde little wisp of a girl completely freaked me out as I waited in line for the bathroom. “Is that shirt supposed to be funny?” she asked motioning to my satirical “Caucasians” T-shirt. And then she said, “I’ll fucking cut you.” Actually, she didn’t scare me so much as the wannabe linebackers standing behind her who looked like they wanted to make good on her threat.
Redskins fans featured on ‘Daily Show’ tried to revoke consent before segment aired
By Ian Shapira
The fans had signed consent agreements to be on the show, but Petersen sent his letter to Polidoro revoking their permission Thursday afternoon, hours before the segment was aired during the show’s 11 p.m. broadcast on Comedy Central.
“As those agreements were procured under false pretenses, they are NULL AND VOID,” Petersen wrote to Polidoro. “The purpose of this letter is to inform you that my clients DO NOT CONSENT to the use of their image or any of their statements by The Daily Show, either for a show about The Washington Redskins or any other subject.”
Vate Powell, vice president and senior counsel at Viacom, which owns Comedy Central, responded to Petersen on Friday afternoon, arguing that simply because the fans were “unhappy to be confronted during the taping does not serve as the basis for any legal claim.” Powell noted that the fans signed “valid and binding releases” and that Polidoro’s statements to persuade the fans to participate “do not undermine this in any way.”
“If anything, [the segment] was a more sensitive representation of your clients than was required, as many more volatile statements—made alone and to the Native American panel—were omitted from the final piece,” Powell wrote.
For more on the subject, see Daily Show's "Redskins" Segment Airs and Deconstructing the Daily Show Encounter.
Below: Shaking hands politely, or forcing the helpless white woman to her knees?