March 3, 2015 1:17 PM EST

John Oliver used his public platform on Last Week Tonight to issue a mea culpa from the human race to the rat race. It seems that rats have been the victims of history’s second biggest framing (history’s first biggest framing being the portraits of Mariah Carey that hang in Mariah Carey’s house). Turns out that despite what many of us learned in history class, the little beady-eyed rodents did not actually spread the black death throughout Europe and almost wipe out the human race.

The real culprit? Mr. Nibbles, the adorable little gerbil. “We’ll have to rewrite that part of history,” said one professor at the University of Oslo, speaking about their research into the real culprit behind the bubonic plague. Absent a massive viral PR campaign, though, it’s too late to spare the rats’ bad reputation.

However, since Oliver lives in New York City—and seems convinced that there are at least five rats with in any 30 foot area of his town—he is more than happy to spearhead a campaign to repair the rats reputation. First step: an apology. Second step: Strip Mr. Nibbles of his tiny little hat.

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