Hasan Minhaj launches Netflix show ‘Patriot Act with Hasan Minhaj’

Hasan Minhaj tackles the issues on affirmative action during the premiere of a new weekly show, “Patriot Act with Hasan Minhaj.”

Netflix premiered its new late-night show “Patriot Act with Hasan Minhaj” on Oct. 28. Minhaj, a previous correspondent of Comedy Central’s “Daily Show with Trevor Noah,” hosts the new show to joust with fractured trends in modern society. According to vox.com, Minhaj is the first Indian-American to host a show for late night television, making his show a unique take from a different cultural background.

For each episode, Minhaj runs a 20-minute conversation to discuss issues from the election crisis in Brazil to whether the actions of Saudi Arabia are just. For the pilot episode, Minhaj brought viewers to the attention of the latest affirmative action case regarding the admission of Asian-Americans into the Harvard University education system. The Asian-American Coalition for Education has argued that Harvard makes biased and racist decisions when it comes to accepting students of Asian descent. Harvard denied these claims and reported their admission system to be fair to all applicants.

Minhaj held up the mirror of both sides of the argument — the plaintiff, Edward Blum, and Harvard. Blum filed the case against Harvard because he believed the university had a hard specific quota. Minhaj reported Bloom’s crusade to eliminate affirmative action was a way to remove racial factors from an admission holistic review.

“I don’t think Ed Blum cares about Asians getting justice at all,” Minhaj said. “I believe he’s using us [Asians]. In his head, he miscast the wrong lead. Abigail Fischer of the 2016 UT Austin case was the Eric Bana in the 2003 Hulk film and now he’s looking for his Mark Ruffalo Hulk, which is Asian kids.”

After his shot at Blum, Minhaj trained the mirror on Harvard saying the institution had a bad history of previous endeavors and alumni such as Bill O’Reilly, the creation of Facebook and the infamous Unabomber, Ted Kaczynski. Minhaj’s tactics are very similar to hosts such as John Oliver, Jon Stewart, Stephen Colbert, Samantha Bee and Trevor Noah. There are starting to be more and more shows with comedians taking the wheel of the nation’s lesser known, more vitally important issues. It makes us question whether or not if we should watch more comedians tell the news. Or would we rather get sucked into a world where channels such as Fox News and CNN fear their journalistic integrity will be taken away just for taking a few shots at leaders who have clearly made terrible mistakes in America’s society?

The daily issues covered by cable news are still vitally important in our world, but it only covers issues that may last only a week. “Last Week Tonight” and “Patriot Act” demand that viewers and our generation really focus on the long-term issues that affect our everyday life. The actions of these comedy shows provide a message for many viewers of this day and age. Do you have the guts to actually make a difference, or do you just want to sit around while the adults are arguing like children?

Edited by Siena DeBolt | sdebolt@themaneater.com

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