×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

ESPN Suspends Keith Olbermann After Heated Twitter Debate

ESPN said it would suspend Keith Olbermann for the rest of the week in light of snarky remarks the popular broadcaster made on Twitter about a Pennsylvania State University fundraiser and some of the students and other people who were supporting it.

Olbermann, who has railed against the school in the past on his self-titled ESPN2 program, got into an exchange with several people on Twitter who were trying to alert him to an annual fundraiser the school was holding to fight pediatric cancer. In one tweet, he said students who attended the school were “pitiful.” As others responded, he began to engage with a number of people on the social-media outlet.

“We are aware of the exchange Keith Olbermann had on Twitter last night regarding Penn State. It was completely inappropriate and does not reflect the views of ESPN,” the Walt Disney-owned network said in a statement. “We have discussed it with Keith, who recognizes he was wrong. ESPN and Keith have agreed that he will not host his show for the remainder of this week and will return on Monday.”

Olbermann, never known to shy away from engaging detractors with debate, has faced suspension in the past. In 2010, MSNBC suspended him for making donations to political candidates without getting approval from superiors, a violation of company policy at the time.

Olbermann tweeted an apology for his remarks on Tuesday, saying he was “stupid and childish.”

ESPN has been making increasing use of suspension to curb offensive behaviors by its on-air team. Last year, ESPN suspended Grantland editor in chief Bill Simmons after he called NFL commissioner Roger Goodell a “liar” on a podcast. In November, ESPN suspended baseball writer Keith Law from using Twitter after he got into a debate about evolution on the outlet. And in July of last year, ESPN suspended Stephen A. Smith for a week after he made some controversial comments in the wake of the domestic-abuse allegations leveled at Ray Rice, then a player for the Baltimore Ravens.

More TV

  • Melissa McCarthy as "Lee Israel" and

    WGA Awards 2019: 'Can You Ever Forgive Me?,' 'Eighth Grade' Win Screenplay Awards

    In a pair of upsets, “Can You Ever Forgive Me?” has won the Writers Guild of America’s adapted screenplay award for Nicole Holofcener and Jeff Whitty and Bo Burnham has won the original screenplay award for “Eighth Grade.” “Can You Ever Forgive Me?,” based on the memoir of the late Lee Israel, topped the screenplays [...]

  • 50 Cent Power

    NYPD Officer Under Investigation for Allegedly Telling Police to Shoot 50 Cent 'on Sight'

    A New York City precinct commander is under investigation for allegedly telling officers to shoot rapper 50 Cent on sight, a police rep confirmed to Variety on Sunday. “The matter is under internal review,” an NYPD rep said, declining to answer further questions. Deputy Inspector Emanuel Gonzalez is accused of telling officers during a June 7 roll [...]

  • Bohemian Rhapsody

    'Bohemian Rhapsody,' 'Marvelous Mrs. Maisel' Among Cinema Audio Society Winners

    Queen biopic “Bohemian Rhapsody” won the Cinema Audio Society’s top prize for sound mixing at Saturday night’s 55th annual CAS Awards. The film is Oscar-nominated for sound mixing this year along with “Black Panther,” “First Man,” “Roma” and “A Star Is Born.” In a surprise over heavy-hitters “Incredibles 2” and “Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse,” Wes [...]

  • Marvelous Mrs Maisel Vice

    'Vice,' 'The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel' Lead Make-Up and Hair Stylists Guild Awards Winners

    Adam McKay’s Dick Cheney biopic “Vice,” starring Oscar nominees Christian Bale, Amy Adams and Sam Rockwell, won two awards at the sixth annual Make-Up and Hair Stylists Guild Awards Saturday night. The film won for best period and/or character makeup as well as special makeup effects. “Mary Queen of Scots” received the prize for period [...]

  • Jussie Smollett Good Morning America

    Jussie Smollett Angrily Denies Complicity in Attack

    Attorneys for “Empire” actor Jussie Smollett issued a statement Saturday denying that he orchestrated his Jan. 29 assault, and saying he is “angered” and “devastated” by recent developments in the case. Chicago police want to interview Smollett, after learning new evidence from two Nigerian brothers who were released on Friday night. Local media outlets have [...]

  • Jussie Smollett Empire

    Chicago Police Want to Talk to Jussie Smollett as New Evidence Emerges

    Chicago police are seeking to re-interview “Empire” actor Jussie Smollett, after new evidence emerged in his alleged assault. Smollett has claimed that two men attacked him at 2 a.m. on Jan. 29, yelled racial and homophobic slurs, poured bleach on him, and put a noose around his neck. The Chicago Police Department has consistently said [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content