MN Swedish Institute Asks Colbert to Man Twitter Account

The American Swedish Institute in Minneapolis has asked the comedian to take control of its Twitter account in the days leading up to the opening of its new Nelson Cultural Center.

As Stephen Colbert seeks to take command of Sweden’s official Twitter account, a local cultural center is jumping on the bandwagon and asking that the comedian temporarily take over its social media account.

In an effort to promote tourism, Sweden recently launched an initiative to grant people access to the country’s official Twitter account, @Sweden. Each selected individual has control of the Twitter account for one week.

Colbert, a political satirist and host of Comedy Central’s The Colbert Report, recently made his case for why he would be a great candidate. (Watch a video of Colbert’s campaign, dubbed “Operation Artificial Swedener,” here.)

Media reports indicate that Sweden has thus far selected only Swedish citizens, although the country may consider foreigners.

A local cultural center, meanwhile, recently reached out to Colbert, asking him to take control of its Twitter account.

The American Swedish Institute in Minneapolis wants Colbert to take over its Twitter account (@AmSwedInstitute) in the days leading up to its June 30 grand opening of the Nelson Cultural Center, a 34,000-square-foot addition to the museum.

For context, @Sweden had 63,700 followers on Thursday afternoon; @AmSwedInstitute had 958.

American Swedish Institute CEO Bruce Karstadt sent a letter to Colbert, in which he wished the comedian luck in his pursuit of the “worthy goal” of controlling Sweden’s Twitter account.

“In the meantime, the American Swedish Institute, one of the largest Swedish-American organizations in the U.S., would like to offer you control of our American Swedish Twitter feed for one day this week or next,” Karstadt wrote. “We know this isn’t quite the same as tweeting for an entire nation, but as a major hub of American-Swedish relations, we hope you will find it an acceptable short-term substitute. Who knows, maybe the actual Sweden will see the work you’ve been doing for us and reconsider.”

Karstadt invited Colbert to tweet in English, Swedish, “or in some hilarious, fakey mix of the two,” if he opts to run the museum’s account.

A spokesperson for the American Swedish Institute, which operates a cultural center and museum, said Thursday that Colbert hasn’t yet responded to its inquiry, but the institute is encouraging its fans to support the initiative by posting on its Facebook page, as well as on The Colbert Report’s page.