Comedian, actor, and radio host Artie Lange (pictured above) zeroed in on ESPN’s “First Take” host Cari Champion (pictured) with a racist tweet that has been deemed “reprehensible” by the sports station, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
On Tuesday, Lange blatantly described several sex scenarios involving Champion as his slave and he as her owner, Thomas Jefferson.
The racist tweets set off Twitterverse, prompting the trending hashtag #SupportCari on Wednesday. Champion’s colleagues even responded to Lange’s vile tweets:
“SportsCenter” anchor Kevin Negandhi tweeted:
“She’s the epitome of class, one of the sharpest people I know. Cari Champion is above the ignorance. Nothing funny about those tweets.”
And ESPN issued the following statement regarding Lange’s comments:
“His comments were reprehensible and no one should be subjected to such hateful language. 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.”
The comedian’s “funnies” cost him a Comedian Central gig, and he has been banned from doing any appearances on the ESPN network.
Late on Wednesday evening, Lange tweeted an “apology” to Champion but made it clear that he stood by the “joke” as a comedian.
Lange, who is known for his very public battles with substance abuse and an overindulgent lifestyle of eating and drinking, was one of shock jock Howard Stern‘s former radio hosts until 2010, when he attempted suicide with bleach and a kitchen knife.