ESPN blasts comedian Artie Lange for 'reprehensible' sex and slavery jokes about Black host
Comedian Artie Lange [Artie Lange official Facebook page]

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.

He then described "fantasies" involving Champion:

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.

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."

[h/t Alternet]