Should CNN Fire This Guy?
UPDATE: As of Feb. 8, CNN suspended Roland Martin over controversial remarks. “Roland Martin’s tweets were regrettable and offensive,” CNN said in a statement. “Language that demeans is inconsistent with the values and culture of our organization, and is not tolerated. We have been giving careful consideration to this matter, and Roland will not be appearing on our air for the time being.”
If a dude at your Super Bowl party is hyped about David Beckham’s H&M underwear ad, smack the ish out of him! #superbowl.
Who the hell was that New England Patriot they just showed in a head to toe pink suit? Oh, he needs a visit from #teamwhipdatass.
These are two of the tweets that CNN commentator Roland Martin posted yesterday during the big game. And LGBT groups are not too happy about it.
GLAAD responded to Martin on Twitter yesterday, saying that he actually has a long history of making gay slurs. They call him out for the latest ones: @rolandsmartin Advocates of gay bashing have no place at @CNN #SuperBowl #LGBT.
Martin defended his comments today, saying that it’s not gay people who should be offended, but soccer fans. He also tweeted back last night: @glaad @CNN well you’re clearly out of touch and clueless with what I tweeted. Way to assume, but you’re way off base.
Maybe this guy just has a funny way of showcasing his sense of humor? Because these hyper-macho tweets are so lame. Or is there smoke where there’s fire? Martin also defended Tracy Morgan last year when the 30 Rock star said he would kill his son if he came out as gay. Morgan eventually apologized for his weirdly unfunny rant (and it recently became fodder for an episode of his TV show – thank you, Tina Fey).
But Martin hasn’t apologized. Nor are we expecting him to do so. In fact, he’s already said he believes in reparative therapy and that he and his wife have actually counseled “ex-gays.” Talk about an unfunny joke.
GLAAD has already asked CNN to take his employment under consideration, saying that by giving him air time, CNN is endorsing his homophobic views. And the group’s asking for his firing. “Martin’s tweets today advocating violence against gay people weren’t an accident,” says GLAAD in a statement. “They are part of a larger pattern for Martin. Anti-gay violence in America is a serious problem facing millions of Americans. It’s no joke. CNN should fire Roland Martin.”
If you agree with GLAAD, there’s a petition here.
What do you think? Should Martin be free to speak his mind? Or are there consequences to statements that advocate violence against gay people – joke or not?