Stephen Colbert cancels New Zealand trip following terrorist attack

On The Late Show With Stephen Colbert, Colbert offered condolences to the people of New Zealand and spoke about a trip to film the show there planned for later this week that had been kept a secret until now. Last September, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardernappeared on The Late Show and invited Colbert to New Zealand where the J.R.R. Tolkiensuper fan would be made an honorary citizen of Hobbiton, the movie set used in The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit movies. But following a terrorist attack by a white nationalist at two mosques in Christchurch that left 50 people dead, Colbert felt compelled to postpone the trip.

“We didn’t ever tell anybody, we were gonna make it a surprise, but we were actually supposed to go down Wednesday. We were going to go down there for a week to shoot in New Zealand because it had been such a lovely invitation and I just love that country,” Colbert said. He later added, “Obviously we’re not going to go down now, but we hope to go down in the future. And again, we just want to say to everybody down there how sad, how heartbroken we are for what that country is going through.”

Colbert, who first traveled to New Zealand to make a cameo in 2013’s The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug, also lamented the spread of white supremacy there.

“It’s this wonderful, isolated country so far away from the problems that we take for granted here north of the equator, and now this particular brand of evil has infected that country, like a ghost or something you wouldn’t imagine,” Colbert said. “Truly like an evil creature has arrived on that island.”

Following the attack, Ardern promised to strengthen gun laws, which are already much stricter than the laws in America, and Colbert hopes that New Zealand’s government is able to do what the American government has not.

“I pray with all my heart that they take the action down there,” Colbert said, “and have the courage to take action that we seem to lack up here in the United States.

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NEW YORK - OCTOBER 15: Oprah Winfrey on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, Thursday, Oct. 15, 2015 on the CBS Television Network. (Photo by John Paul Filo/CBS via Getty Images)
NEW YORK - OCTOBER 12: Elvis Costello talks about his new book 'Unfaithful Music & Disappearing Ink' on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, Monday Oct. 12, 2015 on the CBS Television Network. (Photo by Jeffrey R. Staab/CBS via Getty Images)
NEW YORK - OCTOBER 8: Stephen plays his didgeridoo for actress Cate Blanchett on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, Thursday Oct. 8, 2015 on the CBS Television Network. (Photo by Jeffrey R. Staab/CBS via Getty Images)
NEW YORK - OCTOBER 5: Cellist Yo-Yo Ma plays with Jon Batiste and Stay Human on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, Monday Oct. 5, 2015 on the CBS Television Network. (Photo by Jeffrey R. Staab/CBS via Getty Images)
NEW YORK - SEPTEMBER 29: Actor Jesse Eisenberg on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, Monday Sept. 29, 2015 on the CBS Television Network. (Photo by Jeffrey R. Staab/CBS via Getty Images)
NEW YORK - SEPTEMBER 8: Republican Presidential candidate Jeb Bush chats with Stephen on the premiere of The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, Tuesday Sept. 8, 2015 on the CBS Television Network. (Photo by Jeffrey R. Staab/CBS via Getty Images)
NEW YORK - SEPTEMBER 25: Nobel Prize Laureate Malala Yousafzai on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, Friday, Sept. 25, 2015 on the CBS Television Network. (Photo by Heather Wines/CBS via Getty Images)
NEW YORK - SEPTEMBER 18: The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, Friday, Sept. 18, 2015 on the CBS Television Network. (Photo by John Paul Filo/CBS via Getty Images)
NEW YORK - SEPTEMBER 28: John Legend sings a duet with Stephen and accompanied by Jon Batiste on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, Monday Sept. 28, 2015 on the CBS Television Network. (Photo by Jeffrey R. Staab/CBS via Getty Images)
NEW YORK - SEPTEMBER 28: First Lady Michelle Obama on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, Monday Sept. 28, 2015 on the CBS Television Network. (Photo by John Paul Filo/CBS via Getty Images)
NEW YORK - SEPTEMBER 22: Donald Trump talks about his US Presidential campaign on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, Tuesday Sept. 22, 2015 on the CBS Television Network. (Photo by Jeffrey R. Staab/CBS via Getty Images)
Apple CEO Tim Cook on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, Tuesday Sept. 15, 2015 on the CBS Television Network. (Photo by Jeffrey R. Staab/CBS via Getty Images)
NEW YORK - SEPTEMBER 8: Stephen Colbert during the premiere episode of The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, Tuesday Sept. 8, 2015 on the CBS Television Network. (Photo by Jeffrey R. Staab/CBS via Getty Images)
NEW YORK - SEPTEMBER 8: Stephen Colbert and Jon Batiste during the premiere episode of The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, Tuesday Sept. 8, 2015 on the CBS Television Network. (Photo by Jeffrey R. Staab/CBS via Getty Images)
NEW YORK - SEPTEMBER 8: Actor George Clooney chats with Stephen on the premiere of The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, Tuesday Sept. 8, 2015 on the CBS Television Network. (Photo by Jeffrey R. Staab/CBS via Getty Images)
NEW YORK - SEPTEMBER 8: Jon Batiste performs on the premiere of The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, Tuesday Sept. 8, 2015 on the CBS Television Network. (Photo by Jeffrey R. Staab/CBS via Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 08: A general view of the Ed Sullivan Theater exterior at the first 'The Late Show With Stephen Colbert' taping on September 8, 2015 in New York City. (Photo by Ray Tamarra/WireImage)
NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 08: Atmosphere at the first taping of 'The Late Show With Stephen Colbert' on September 8, 2015 in New York City. (Photo by John Lamparski/Getty Images)
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