• Viral badge

Ellen Mispronounced Comedian Hasan Minhaj's Name, So He Made An Excellent Point About Name Double-Standards

"If you can pronounce Ansel Elgort, you can pronounce Hasan Minhaj."

This is Hasan Minhaj, host of the weekly Netflix comedy show Patriot Act, former correspondent for The Daily Show, and recipient of a 2018 Peabody Award for his stand-up special Homecoming King.

Hasan's a brilliant, must-watch comedian, so his name comes up all the time. But there's a good chance you've been saying his name incorrectly, like Ellen did earlier this week on her show. "People always mispronounce it," he told the talk show host.

What’s my name? Timothée Chalamet.

The whole issue came up after Ellen said, "And it's *Ha-saan Min-aaj*," except it was less an introduction and more a question of whether she'd pronounced it correctly.

"Look, when I first started doing comedy, people were like you should change your name," Hasan revealed. "And I'm like, 'I'm not gonna change my name.'" Then, he brought up an EXCELLENT point: "If you can pronounce Ansel Elgort, you can pronounce Hasan Minhaj."

And as any person of color who's not named Jim, Mary, or Jane knows, Starbucks is where proper name pronunciations go to die. So when Ellen asked the comic what he does when ordering at the famous coffee shop, he simply replied, "At Starbucks, I go by Timothée Chalamet."

(Sidenote: This reminds me of the time Orange Is The New Black actress Uzo Aduba told her mom she wanted to be called Zoe at school, and her mom said, "If they can learn to say Tchaikovsky and Michelangelo and Dostoyevsky, they can learn to say Uzoamaka.")

Hasan's Ellen interview has since gone viral with 1M+ views on YouTube and 79K+ likes on Twitter, so it's safe to say that folks realllllly related to Hasan's struggle.

@hasanminhaj Feel your pain Hasaan - regards, Sellmun

Cuz clearly the struggle is REAL, and that goes for all the Hasan's, Hassan's, and Houssein's alike.

@djirdehh @hasanminhaj I was like wow the struggle is real for all Hassans, the same exact struggle 😅

A bunch of people started sharing similar stories in the Twitter thread, like Alejandra Reynoso, who was once advised to "take on a stage name that was more 'ethnically ambiguous' like 'Alexandra Reynolds.'"

@adishankarbrand @hasanminhaj True story: When I was starting out in entertainment I was advised to take on a stage name that was more “ethnically ambiguous” like “Alexandra Reynolds.”

FYI, "ethnically ambiguous" is code for white.

"I'm a black girl with one of 'those names' so I totally understand this," wrote gamer Nia Pierce, "I used to shy away from using it, but now I'm like you."

@hasanminhaj Tell them! I'm a black girl with one of "those names" so I understand this totally. I used to shy away from using it, but now I'm like you. This is my name. Please pronounce it correctly.

Several Twitter users pointed out that both The Daily Show's Trevor Noah and even the comic himself have mispronounced his name on many occasions. But Sonya Diarra made a great counter-point:

@KaranAgarwal88 @hasanminhaj At some point your own name can give you anxiety from having to correct people so much, so you just accepte the name people have given you. I’m glad he got to courage to make people get it right this time around.

Shout out to Hasan for schooling us. Now, PUT SOME RESPEK ON HIS NAME BY SAYING IT RIGHT!!!

Sound off in the comment section below: Do you have a name that people are constantly mispronouncing? How have you dealt with it? And how does the constant butchering make you feel?