After news broke that Oscar, a Paralymypic and Olympic athlete, allegedly shot and killed his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp in the early hours of Thursday at his home in Silver Woods, Pretoria, Trevor took to his Twitter:
Trevor's tweet has since been retweeted more than 2 000 times and he has received harsh criticism for his "insensitivity" for making light of an incident in which a young woman lost her life.
And the Oscar goes to - jail— Trevor Noah (@Trevornoah) February 14, 2013
Oscar was also the face of M-Net's "28 Days of Oscar" campaign promoting their Academy Awards coverage, but the pay-TV channel has since yanked all promotional material featuring the athlete.
Top Billing presenter Janez Vermeiren was among the first to confront Trevor for his tweet:
Expresso presenter Katlego Maboe followed suit:
@trevornoah c'mon you are more than talented and have enough followers, you don't need to seek attention like this!— Janez Vermeiren (@Janez_Vermeiren) February 14, 2013
Offering a stern life lesson to Trevor, Survivor SA presenter and actor Nico Panagio tweeted"
"@trevornoah: And the Oscar goes to - jail" Sorry but that is so inappropriate right now. Yes it's your job to be funny but did you have to?— Katlego Maboe (@KatlegoMaboe) February 14, 2013
Nico also took time to retweet several followers' tweets about the insensitive nature of the jokes that circulated online soon after news of Reeva's death and Oscar's subsequent arrest broke.
@suecbrit @trevornoah sometimes it is better to sacrifice the funny in favor of decency . . .— NICO PANAGIO (@NicoPanagio) February 14, 2013
Humour for therapy
Yet, despite the outcry against Trevor, many have stood up in support of the comedian.
Well-known business woman Annie Malan included Trevor in her tweet, posting:
The tweet has not yet been removed from Trevor's Twitter account, despite many people's request that it be removed.
Dear @trevornoah . Humour is one of the most healing ways to enjoy therapy. Never stop with your compassionate comedy. #laughterbestmedicine— Annie (@AnnieMalan) February 15, 2013
Noah has not addressed the response to his tweet as yet, only posting a tweet several hours later about President Jacob Zuma's State of the Nation Address.