ESPN ripped comedian Artie Lange on Wednesday for a series of tweets containing graphic sexual and violent comments about First Take host Cari Champion, Sports Illustrated reported.
"His comments were reprehensible and no one should be subjected to such hateful language," the network said in a statement. "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."
Lange, a former sidekick to radio host Howard Stern, had drawn criticism throughout the day for going on Twitter to say that he was "trying to maintain [an] erection" and masturbate while watching Champion on the talk show.
Trying to maintain erection and jerkoff to chick on First Take but they keep cutting back to Stephen A Smith and the white guy. Frustrating!— Artie Lange (@Artie Lange)1415114224.0
He then described "fantasies" involving Champion:
Here's the scenario I'm using to jerkoff to chick on First Take I'm T. Jefferson & she's my slave. She beats the shit out of me & runs free— Artie Lange (@Artie Lange)1415114441.0
I attempt to whip @CariChampion cuz she disrespected the Jefferson Plantation but she grabs whip & beats me I cum like a fat founding father— Artie Lange (@Artie Lange)1415115713.0
After the outburst, Lange began promoting an appearance on the Comedy Central talk show Midnight. But later in the day, he announced that the booking had been canceled because the negative reaction to his statements about Champion had led to pressure on the show to disinvite him. Lange also defended his earlier posts, saying that he thought it would be "funny" to joke about his observation that Champion is a Black woman.
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— Artie Lange (@Artie Lange)1415217574.0
He later refused to apologize to "awful PC groups," but did write to Champion that "if this hurt u in any way I'm sorry."