Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Sirius Firing 'Antony'

If you're at all concerned with talk radio, and specifically the "Opie and Anthony Show", you are fully aware of the decision by Sirius to part ways with "Ant", aka, Anthony Cumia.

A summary as to why goes like this:

Anthony was taking a photo of something in NYC, and a black woman was caught in the picture. She objected to this, and supposedly, according to Ant, attacked him for doing so. Apparently, he had a gun on him, and claims she's an idiot because he could have shot her. He didn't. But he did say many awful things about this woman, and to most regular people who are not apologists of 'Ant', it all seemed pretty racist.

The word nigger was never used, but he alluded to many things which seem even worse than that, if it's possible. Instead of just saying the-enn-word, he beat around the bush, and called her many other things via his Twitter account, which I'm told may have been deleted.

Sirius XM fired him over this. Greg Hughes, aka, Opie, remains.

Diehard fans are unhappy.

In no way do I think Sirius is wrong for firing him. He crossed the line, again, between what is decent and acceptable for a public company. They've allowed him, as have others, to toe that line his entire career. Some are arguing this has nothing to do with his "career" since it was not on the air; and that he was outside of the job.


He wrote these things on Twitter. I imagine he uses the show to promote his Twitter account, as well as other social media outlets. So in essence, the Twitter is part of the show. Without the show, no one follows him; no one cares. It's the new world we live in, and every public figure knows this. I consider everything I write on Twitter, and now this blog, since it is part of my show.

I am surprised Sirius XM had the guts to do it because the O & A show is a major part of why people use the service. Very gutsy, to say the least. They would have taken a bigger backlash than Rush Limbaugh did from Sandra Fluke, I can guarantee it. And Limbaugh, worst cases, loses some listeners. Free listeners. Sirius? They lose paying customers, and they know this. Yet I'm still surprised they had the guts. Kudos to them for taking the risk of firing one of their only stars. I'm sure someone from Harvard Business School did the math...

But make no mistake. I absolutely think this guy should be fired. If people want to follow him to his own internet show, good for him; good for them. If they want to support a person who makes racists comments and denigrates all types of people, so be it. It's their right. He just shouldn't be representing any corporation or business he does not own.

I'll admit I used to love the show when I worked at WNEW years ago. The guy is an incredible talent. I appreciate the line between what is right and what is wrong. What is in jest. What is merely entertainment, and what is not. It's not always easy to carve that out in a perfect way. But Antony has been living on a thin line for years and years. Crossing it a number of times, and losing jobs because of it. Now he seems over the cliff. Is there water or rocks below? Who knows.

He went too far. And if you're really upset because you like the man, and it somehow hurts your life, maybe consider for a moment how racist comments like his hurt the lives of so many others even more than it helps your own. Sorry, but your entertainment needs to take a back seat to society's concerns.

Here's a link to his Twitter Comments

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