Ecuadorians leap to clown's defence after John Oliver skit

John Oliver on Last Week Tonight show Image copyright Last Week Tonight / YouTube

A comedian has infuriated Ecuadorians after mocking President Rafael Correa - and a beloved childhood character - on American television.

John Oliver ridiculed the Ecuadorian president during his Last Week Tonight Show. He focused on Correa's attempt to marshal an army of trolls against his social media critics - a story BBC Trending covered previously - but what really irritated Ecuadorians was the fact that he ridiculed one of his beloved childhood characters: Tiko Tiko the clown.

The comedian showed a clip from Correa's TV programme in which Tiko Tiko interrupts the president's speech with a song. Oliver commented: "Unfortunately, they [the televised speeches] can take a darker turn. Yes, even darker than a clown."

Tiko Tiko has been a trending topic in Ecuador for the last two days. "It can't be that international TV makes fun of such a prominent person ... poor Tiko Tiko!" tweeted one.

During his show, the comedian also gave Correa some advice: "President Correa, if you are this sensitive, then Twitter and Facebook might not be for you." As a response, the Correa poked fun at Oliver (a Brit who famously found love and success in the US): "English comedian mocks President Correa. Have there ever been English comedians? Are you sure?" and two pro-government hashtags were created: #JohnYouAreInvited (to Ecuador, that is) and #EcuatorianoHastalaMedula ("Ecuadorians to the core").

Correa found support on his Facebook site, where he also posted the same comment. But he also found people asking him not to take comedy too seriously. "Mr President, we are not against you, but you have to admit that you have a problem of hypersensitivity," commented Gina Oña.

And for to Tiko Tiko, whose real name is Ernesto Huertas, he called Oliver "grotesque" and said that he should be more respectful.

Blog by Gabriela Torres

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