Artie Lange tweeted an explicit master-and-slave sex fantasy Tuesday morning about ESPN “First Take” host Cari Champion. Not surprisingly, that did not play well to a large audience -- and it’s cost him at least one gig so far, amid accusations of racism and rape fantasy.
“It’s official. Comedy Central will not let me on @midnight Comedy Central has always been good to me & I don’t blame them,” Lange, who is white, said Wednesday on Twitter. “Not worth it!”
“The Howard Stern Show” alum, who notably left that program after a dramatic 2009 suicide attempt, also posted a multiple-tweet explanation Wednesday, not apologizing for his jokes but noting at the end that he cared about 39-year-old Champion, who is black, and hoped she wasn’t offended.
“they were all jokes. Stupid jokes. Very stupid but jokes. Pls don’t let them harm you. If they did I’m sorry,” he tweeted directly to her.
“I’m about to tweet a few things I can’t believe have to be explained in a rational world. I observed that @CariChampion was a gorgeous lady,” Lange had said as he launched into a lengthy series of explanatory tweets. “This observation came while I was watching one of my favorite tv shows ESPNs First Take. I also noticed she was black.”
“I then thought it would be funny to tweet JOKES about that observation. A decision which might be the end of modern comedy. I tweeted jokes that in the past I would’ve said ... privately in my home among friends. I know black women who could join me and handle it.”
For the record, the 47-year-old’s fantasy scenario had gone something like this: Lange cast himself as Thomas Jefferson and the ESPN personality as a “slave” he attempts to whip because she “disrespected the Jefferson Plantation.” He described her whipping him instead and running for freedom, with the two of them eventually getting married “at The Knights of Columbus in Linden New Jersey” after having eight children together.
But -- back to his explanation.
“I won’t debate if the tweets were funny. That could take minutes of precious time left in my career. The issue is do they warrant an apology. Tricky question. I would rather load trucks for a living then ever apologize to one of these awful PC groups ruining the country.
“So that’s a NO. But if it upset the lady in question that’s another story. Let me say to @CariChampion if this hurt u in any way I’m sorry. I’m a comedian. Sometimes I’m funny! For the record my moms disgusted w the tweets. But if I based my humor on my mom I’d be broke.”
ESPN, for one, was definitely not laughing.
“His comments were reprehensible and no one should be subjected to such hateful language,” it said Wednesday in a statement obtained by Sports Illustrated. The network dismissed Lange’s “thin guise of ‘comedy’” on his remarks and said it would not “dignify” the comments with further response.
Champion’s Twitter account, which had no mention of Lange, was silent as of Wednesday afternoon.