ESPN Denies Trying to Keep Jemele Hill Off the Air Following Trump Comments
"We never asked any other anchors to do last night's show. Period," said a network spokesman.
ESPN on Thursday afternoon denied a ThinkProgress report that the network attempted to keep Jemele Hill off the air by finding other African-American hosts to fill in for her.
That allegation comes a few days after the SportsCenter host found herself in the middle of a firestorm after she tweeted Monday night that President Donald Trump is a white supremacist.
ESPN pushed back against Hill's comments. The White House said she should be fired.
Hill appeared on the show Wednesday as usual, but ThinkProgress, citing sources within ESPN, reported the network allegedly attempted to keep her off the air by asking Michael Eaves and Elle Duncan to serve as fill-ins for the show. The two both refused, according to the report. Co-host Michael Smith refused to do the show without Hill, according to the report.
Eaves the same day tweeted emojis of angry faces and one with its lips zipped.
Man.. this day got me like..— Michael Eaves (@michaeleaves) September 13, 2017
ESPN denies that the asks happened.
"We never asked any other anchors to do last night's show. Period," an ESPN spokesman said in a statement to The Hollywood Reporter.
Rob King, the senior vice president for news and information at SportsCenter, also told ThinkProgress the allegation was false.
"Yesterday was a hard and unusual day, with a number of people interpreting the day without a full picture that happened," he said, according to the site. "In the end, ultimately, Michael and Jemele appearing on the show last night and doing the show the way they did is the outcome we always desired."