It was fun while it lasted. “Operation Artificial Swedener” appears to have been unsuccessful, meaning comedian Stephen Colbert won’t be getting his hands on the keys to Sweden’s national twitter account, @sweden.
“Although we appreciate that having Colbert as a Curator of Sweden would be meaningful in terms of global attention to this initiative, VisitSweden and the Swedish Institute have decided to – after thorough consideration – decline his generous offer,” said the officials in charge of @sweden in a statement to Sweden’s English-language website The Local.
Starting earlier this year, Sweden’s tourism authority has been handing the reins for @sweden over to a different Swede every week in an effort to promote the country as a diverse, progressive, tech-savvy land. But after one 27-year-old launched her term as Curator of Sweden by asking unsettling questions about Jews, prompting a storm of Internet outrage, Colbert decided it was time for Sweden to leave the tweeting to the pros. Since then he has been regularly airing segments, tweeting about the cause (“I deserve @sweden!”) and asking viewers to nominate him as the guest curator of the account. “They would be crazy not to give it to me,” the faux conservative host said on his June 12th show. “The @sweden account has only 33,000 followers [note: now it's at 68,000], whereas I have 3.5 million. So, mathematically, I am 100 times more prepared for this than the entire nation of Sweden.”
Last Thursday, Colbert made a last-ditch effort, announcing that “the Colbert Nation will cut off all diplomatic relations with Sweden” if he didn’t get the account. That apparently didn’t sway anyone. While officials declined to offer Colbert the account, they told The Local that he is welcome to visit the country to “experience the openness and diversity of the Swedish society on the spot.”