Stephen Colbert cleared in US agency's review of anti-Trump diatribe

Stephen Colbert on The Late Show.
Stephen Colbert on The Late Show. PHOTO: CBS

LOS ANGELES (BLOOMBERG) - Comedian Stephen Colbert's profanity-tinged tirade against President Donald Trump, aired nationally on CBS, does not merit any action by the United States Federal Communications Commission, the agency concluded after a review.

After receiving thousands of complaints about the May 1 Late Show monologue, which included a joke suggesting a sexual relationship between Mr Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin, the FCC reviewed the material and decided not to take further steps, the agency said on Tuesday (May 23) in a statement.

Colbert has offered no apology for his remarks, though the late-night host said he should have been less crude. The comedian's biting political humour helped propel The Late Show to first place in the ratings for total viewers in the season that just concluded, CBS said in a statement on Tuesday.

The FCC regulates programming broadcast on television. Programmes like The Late Show that air after 10pm have looser rules, but they still are prohibited from including obscene content - overtly sexual, offensive and lacking serious literary, artistic, political or scientific value. It is rare for the FCC to take action against a broadcaster under the rules.