Colbert, who is liberal but parodies a blustery conservative on his late night talk show, took aim at the Washington Redskins football team whose name is considered offensive by many Native Americans.
Colbert mocked team owner Dan Snyder who has announced a fund to support Native Americans while rejecting calls to change the name.
On Twitter and on his “Colbert Report” show on the Comedy Central network, Colbert said: “I am willing to show the Asian community I care by introducing the Ching-Chong Ding-Dong Foundation for Sensitivity to Orientals or Whatever.”
Activists voiced outrage at the remark, which played on mocking imitations of East Asian languages. A conversation, under the hashtag #CancelColbert, was near the top of topics trending on Twitter Friday.
Writer and activist Suey Park, who helped lead the protests, asked why it was acceptable for Colbert to use offensive language for Asian Americans if he was criticizing racism against Native Americans.