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REPORT: ESPN Wanted To Take Jemele Hill Off The Air, But Her Colleagues Refused To Fill In
Despite the comments she usually gets on social media, Jemele is definitely loved and admired by her fellow colleagues.
According to a report by Lindsay Gibbs of ThinkProgress, ESPN attempted to punish Jemele following her anti-Donald Trump comments by removing her from ‘SC6′, but her co-host Michael Smith refused to do the show without her.
That wasn’t all.
The Worldwide Leader in Sports then attempted to reach out to various other employees to sit-in for both Jemele and Smith, but they all refused to do it.
Think Progress has the details:
“Hill — who was caught in the middle of a firestorm of controversy that began on Monday night when she tweeted that President Donald Trump was a white supremacist, which escalated when ESPN issued a statement on Tuesday reprimanding her comments and which exploded when White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said that Hill’s tweets were a “fireable offense” — was calm and composed throughout the hour, and the show went on as usual.
However, two sources familiar with the situation told ThinkProgress that this was not the original plan.
ESPN originally tried to keep Hill off the air on Wednesday evening, but Smith refused to do the show without her, the sources said. Both sources also said that producers reached out to two other black ESPN hosts, Michael Eaves and Elle Duncan, to ask them to serve as fill-ins for the show — but Eaves and Duncan did not agree to take the place of Hill and Smith, either.
Faced with the possibility of having to replace Hill and Smith with white co-hosts, the sources said, ESPN then called Hill and asked her to come back on her show.”
Shortly after the initial report surfaced, ESPN fired right back and denied such a thing actually took place.
Our statement: “We never asked any other anchors to do last night’s show. Period.” https://t.co/EJhnjbr7yq
— Chris LaPlaca (@espn_chris) September 14, 2017
After ESPN released a statement condemning her words towards the President, many of her fellow colleagues showed her nothing but love and support.
— Jemele Hill (@jemelehill) September 14, 2017
Happy to stand w my friend and colleague Jemele Hill any time and anywhere…especially now…
— Michael Wilbon (@RealMikeWilbon) September 13, 2017
This situation with ESPN is just the latest in a tumultuous year for a company who laid off hundreds of employees just a few months ago.