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New Daily Show host Trevor Noah speaks out about his ‘offensive’ tweets

Before Trevor Noah takes his seat as host of The Daily Show next month, he made sure to publicly address the controversy over provocative tweets dug up from his past. This morning at the Television Critics Association summer press tour, Noah reiterated that the show will continue to comment on public affairs, the show’s producers and writing staff will remain the same, and that he doesn’t “strive to be offensive.”

Related: Trevor Noah will take over The Daily Show on September 28

“That’s not who I am as a person. That’s not who I am as a performer,” he said, according to Variety, as Noah addressed tweets about women and Jewish people labeled by some as ‘offensive’. “You can never control what people find as offensive or not… That’s going to be one of the things — getting to know my audience, getting my audience to know me.”

While he noted at the presser that he expected backlash over when he was announced as Stewart’s replacement, he was surprised that the media chose to attack him on this issue. “I knew there would be some sort of backlash around The Daily Show. It’s a huge institution. I didn’t know what it would be about… and then they went with that, which was an interesting choice, but I knew that something would come out of it.”

Noah expressed that his biggest apprehension is the pressure of living up to Stewart’s expectations. “The biggest pressure for me is living up to the expectations that Jon has of me,” he said. “Jon believes in me… There’s an immense pressure for me personally to live up to that legacy to keep that flagship going.”

Don’t expect the show to be exactly the same, though, Noah warned. “I am a 31-year-old half-black, half-white South African who’s lived in a America for a few years on and off,” said Noah. “Jon would comment on [the world] from a very different place than I would because I’m more of an outsider to that world than he is.”

As for the Twitter controversy, he’s taking it in stride. “Luckily, Comedy Central hasn’t limited me to 140 characters on the show.”