CNN ended its relationship with television host Reza Aslan after he called Pres. Trump a “piece of s**t” who is “not just an embarrassment to America and a stain on the presidency. He’s an embarrassment to humankind.”
CNN announced Friday that it was dropping Aslan’s documentary show, Believer with Reza Aslan, which CNN had aired for one season. “CNN has decided to not move forward with production on the acquired series ‘Believer with Reza Aslan,’” CNN said in a statement sent to iMediaEthics. “We wish Reza and his production team all the best.”
iMediaEthics asked what the official reason was for CNN’s decision, what Aslan’s title or relationship to CNN was, and if CNN has introduced or reminded people affiliated with CNN regarding what is acceptable on social media by CNN’s standards. CNN declined to comment beyond its statement.
Aslan’s tweet about Trump was posted June 3 after the terrorist attack in London. The next day, June 4, Aslan apologized for his tweet, saying “I should have used better language to express my shock and frustration at the president’s lack of decorum and sympathy for the victims of London. I apologize for my choice of words.”
— Reza Aslan (@rezaaslan) June 4, 2017
In a statement posted on Twitter, Aslan said he was “very disappointed” but noted he is “not a journalist.”
“In these politically charged times, the tenor of our nation’s discourse has become complicated, and I recognize that CNN needs to protect its brand as an unbiased news outlet,” he wrote in part. “Similarly, I need to honor my voice. I am not a journalist. I am a social commentator and scholar. And so I agree with CNN that it is best that we part ways.” iMediaEthics has written to Aslan to ask what explanation CNN gave for ending its relationship. His publicist declined to comment beyond his statement.
— Reza Aslan (@rezaaslan) June 9, 2017