Late Wednesday, ESPN responded to the racist and sexist tweets that shock comic Artie Lange sent out about First Take host Cari Champion. Lange’s tweets were not only laced with racism but also were riddled with sexual harassment. Many came to Champion’s defense, but those people also were subjected to hate tweets from Lange supporters.
In a statement to Sports Illustrated, ESPN let it be known that the network took issue with Lange’s comments.
“His comments were reprehensible and no one should be subjected to such hateful language,” the network said. "They objectify and demean one of our valued employees under the thin guise of ‘comedy’ and are offensive to all of us. We will not dignify them with any other comment.”
In typical fauxpology fashion, Lange posted a series of tweets:
This observation came while I was watching one of my favorite TV shows ESPNs First Take. I also noticed she was black. I then thought it would be funny to tweet JOKES about that observation. A decision which might be the end of modern comedy. I tweeted jokes that in the past I would’ve said in privately in my home among friends. I know black women who could join me and handle it. I won’t debate if the tweets were funny. That could take minutes of precious time left in my career. The issue is do they warrant an apology. Tricky question. I would rather load trucks for a living then ever apologize to one of these awful PC groups ruining the country. So that’s a NO. But if it upset the lady in question that’s another story. Let me say to Cari Champion if this hurt u in any way I’m sorry. I’m a comedian. Sometimes I’m funny! For the record my moms disgusted w the tweets. But if I based my humor on my mom I’d be broke. They’re now telling me I can’t appear on @Midnight tonight cause of the pressure they’re getting from these groups. But who cares. I love the show & it’s my living but who cares. These groups have won again. All I care about is @CariChampion Truly.
Not too many people bought his apology, but those who supported Lange felt the need to harass and criticize women online who supported Champion. Just imagine the backlash a black comedian would receive for tweeting a fair white maiden sex jokes about the Holocaust. I think those who support Lange would see things a little differently. The sad thing about the situation is that Lange obviously still doesn’t see what was wrong with his tweets but thinks that he was admiring Champion and blames the P.C. police.
As of today, Champion has not commented on the incident.