Minhaj was told that his past comments “about Prime Minister Modi were not appreciated.”
Indian American comedian Hasan Minhaj says he was barred from attending last Sunday’s mega rally featuring Prime Minister Narendra Modi and President Trump in Houston because of past comments he made about the Indian leader.
The host of the Netflix show The Patriot Act told NBC’s Late Night with Seth Meyers on Tuesday that, when he initially requested press credentials for the “Howdy Modi” event, held at the NRG Stadium, the organizers told him that they were “out of space.”
When he showed up at the event, he was told that he “has been denied because of some of the comments” he has made, Minhaj said.
“The comments you have made about Prime Minister Modi were not appreciated, and you’ve been blacklisted,” he added.
The comedian said while he was watching the live streaming of the rally from the parking lot he saw a photo of him on the Jumbotron.
“[During] the program, they’re honoring prominent Indian Americans,” he said. “And then they show a photo of me on the Jumbotron, and people start clapping. So, you understand what’s happening.”
Minhaj continued: “I’m in the parking lot. So, they were honoring me for my comedy while also blackmailing me and blackballing me and kicking me out for my comedy. It was the most Indian thing ever. They were like, “We’re proud of you, but we’ll never say it to your face. It tore me apart, man.”
Watch Hasan Minhaj on Late Night with Seth Meyers
More than 50,000 Indian Americans attended the “Howdy Modi,” making it the biggest political rally attended by a foreign leader other than Pope on US soil.
Minhaj, who came to national prominence as correspondent of Comedy Central’s Daily Show, frequently talks about his Indian heritage on his shows. The Patriot Act has in the past featured Indian political and social issues.
In an episode in March on the Indian elections, Minhaj spoke about the future of India under Modi. He said: “Since Modi came to power, India has grown more hostile to minority groups. Among a vocal minority, there has been a resurgence in religious nationalism, specifically Hindu nationalism, the idea that India is a Hindu nation,” which is against secularism, enshrined in the Indian constitution.