While thousands of Indians and Americans around the world celebrated and took part in the success of ‘Howdy Modi’, not all were allowed to get involved in the event. Indian-American stand-up comedian Hasan Minhaj was reportedly not allowed to enter the NRG stadium, where the ‘Howdy Modi’ event took place.
An Islamophobic attack on press in 3 acts: Muslim journalist and @patriotact host @hasanminhaj was denied access at Tump/Modi event. Event producers cite lack of credentials (despite credentials set for him), cite lack of space for broadcast (press pool & camera risers 1/2 empty) pic.twitter.com/4mvjwLrFGy
— The Sparrow Project (@sparrowmedia) September 22, 2019
In a video that went viral on social media, Hasan Minhaj can be seen outside the venue, on the phone with a media coordinator from the press registration. In the call, which was on loudspeaker, Minhaj was enquiring the organiser about his credentials for the event. Hasan and his camera crew were denied entry to the venue with authorities citing lack of press credentials and limited accommodation for crews as the reason. The comedian was further insistent on entering as he said, “But you told me we were denied because of the jokes”, to which the organizer said, “Yeah, some people were not happy, but that doesn’t matter to me much. The reason I can’t get you in is due to the lack of space for broadcast crews”.
— Hasan Minhaj (@hasanminhaj) September 22, 2019
The comedian and political commentator is yet to respond to the incident. The last Twitter activity on his account saw his picture in which he could be seen standing in front of the venue. He captioned the post as, “Here to celebrate two great nations coming together. India first. But America first too. #HowdyModi”. He faced a lot of heat on social media for his episodes on Indian elections and the clampdown in Kashmir after the abrogation of Article 370 ahead of Indian Independence Day.