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Stephen Colbert Responds To Criticism Over Kate Middleton Jokes

Stephen Colbert addresses his previous jokes about Kate Middleton in the Monday episode of “The Late Show.”

Colbert expressed regret over his jokes concerning Middleton’s absence from the public eye, especially in light of her recent cancer diagnosis and the announcement of her undergoing preemptive chemotherapy. Addressing the backlash he received for his earlier comments made before the Princess of Wales revealed her condition, Colbert reflected on the nature of comedy and his standards.

“We do a lot of shows. I tell a lot of jokes. I tell jokes about a lot of different things, mostly what everybody is talking about,” Colbert said. “For the last six weeks to two months, everybody has been talking about the mystery of Kate Middleton’s disappearance from public life. Two weeks ago, we did some jokes about that mystery.”

While he did not directly apologize for the jokes made before Middleton’s announcement, Colbert acknowledged the sensitivity of the subject and the possibility of upsetting the audience, both in the past and likely in the future. (RELATED: Chris Murphy Complains After CNN Interview Postponed For Kate Middleton Cancer Coverage)

“When I made those jokes, that upset some people. Even before her diagnosis was revealed,” he said. “I can understand that, a lot of my jokes have upset people in the past and some of my jokes will upset people in the future, but there’s a standard that I try to hold myself to, and that is I do not make light of somebody else’s tragedy.”

“I don’t know whether her prognosis is a tragic one … regardless of what it is… far too many of us know that any cancer diagnosis of any kind is harrowing for the patient and for their family,” Colbert continued. “Though I’m sure they don’t need it from me, I and everyone here at ‘The Late Show’ would like to extend our well-wishes and heartfelt hope that her recovery is swift and thorough.”

BEVERLY HILLS, CA – AUGUST 10: Host, executive producer, writer Stephen Colbert speaks onstage during the ‘The Late Show with Stephen Colbert’ panel discussion at the CBS portion of the 2015 Summer TCA Tour at The Beverly Hilton Hotel on August 10, 2015 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images)

Colbert’s remarks seemed to reference the jokes he made during the March 13 broadcast of “The Late Show,” where he humorously linked Middleton’s recent lack of public appearances to rumors of her husband’s unfaithfulness, Deadline reported.

“The Kingdom has been all a flutter about the seeming disappearance of Kate Middleton. Well now, internet sleuths are guessing that Kate’s absence may be related to her husband, and the future King of England, William, having an affair,” Colbert said, Deadline reported. “According to tabloids back then, when Kate supposedly confronted him about it, he laughed it off, saying there was nothing to it. Always a good response when your wife accuses you of cheating.”