Stephen Colbert Defies CBS, Shows Kristen Stewart Rolling Stone Cover On-Air

Stephen Colbert broke the late night mold on Tuesday night, sharing with his audience that his CBS bosses asked him not to share Kristen Stewart’s recent Rolling Stone cover on the air.

“Now, there’s a lot of buzz around this Rolling Stone cover of yours. Before I show this cover, I just want you to know and the audience to know that I think it’s a perfectly lovely cover. We were asked by CBS not to show it,” Colbert said while interviewing Stewart. “They thought that would be not a good idea to show this, and I don’t understand why.”

After showing the cover, Colbert quipped that Stewart looked “better in a jockstrap than I ever did.”

The cover in question, which is from the March 2024 edition of the magazine, shows Stewart in a leather vest, her hand plunged deep into the jockstrap she’s wearing. In the article, tied to Stewart’s upcoming A24 movie “Love Lies Bleeding,” the actress proclaims ” I want to do the gayest thing you’ve ever seen in your life.”

The cover has sparked outrage, largely from those on the far right. Rather than moving on from the cover, the late night host asked Stewart why she believes this photo has generated so much backlash and made sure to repeatedly show the cover to the camera.

“Let’s keep this light,” Stewart said before launching into her answer. “It’s a little ironic because I feel like I’ve seen a lot of male public hair on the cover of things. I’ve seen a lot of hands in pants and unbuttoned — I think there’s a certain overt acknowledgement of a female sexuality that has its own volition in a way that is annoying to people who are sexist and homophobic.”

Colbert agreed with Stewart’s assessment that the cover is not “explicit,” pointing out that he’s seen more revealing covers on Rolling Stone and Sports Illustrated. The late night host then said that he believes the outrage may stem from how Stewart’s cover “violates public expectations of female sexuality.”

“Female sexuality isn’t supposed to actually want anything but to be had,” Stewart said, agreeing with him. “That feels like it might be protruding in a way that might be annoying. But f–k you.”

Stewart swearing resulted in a round of applause from the audience as well as a handshake from Colbert. But the César Award-winning actress wasn’t quite done.

“But I never will! Ha ha!” Stewart joked.

“I think that’s why they’re mad at you,” Colbert retorted, barely holding back laughter.

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