Just two days after being arrested on a battery charge, actor Wendell Pierce has canceled his scheduled commencement address at Rutgers University-Newark in New Jersey.

"This morning Rutgers University-Newark was informed by actor and humanitarian Wendell Pierce that in order to assure that commencement 2016 will be a celebration of the accomplishments of our students free of distractions, he is declining to join us and consequently must decline the conferral of an honorary degree," the university said in a statement.

Pierce was arrested early Sunday morning at an Atlanta hotel after allegedly hitting a woman and her male companion when he found out they were Bernie Sanders supporters. 


According to the police report released Monday, the accuser said that Pierce hit her on the head and ripped the hood off her sweatshirt. According to Pierce, the woman was trying to pull him and his girlfriend into her hotel room, and he was trying to escape.

Now that Pierce has declined to do the commencement address and receive the honorary degree, Soledad O'Brien will be his replacement.

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