Twitter has helped another person get in trouble: this time, it’s CNN analyst Roland Martin.
He was suspended from the Atlanta-based news network today after a Super Bowl Tweet that some perceived to be homophobic.
“Roland Martin’s tweets were regrettable and offensive,” the CNN said in a statement this afternoon. “Language that demeans is inconsistent with the values and culture of our organization, and is not tolerated. We have been giving careful consideration to this matter, and Roland will not be appearing on our air for the time being.”
There was no return date referenced. The 43-year-old columnist, commentator and author has been a regular contributor to CNN since 2007.
During the Super Bowl, Martin Tweeted:
“If a dude at your Super Bowl party is hyped about David Beckham’s H&M underwear ad,” he wrote, “smack the ish out of him!”
Gay watchdog groups, including GLAAD (Gay Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation), seized upon this as an anti-gay slur and demanded his removal from the network.
Martin apologized but said he was being “soccer”-phobic, not homophobic:
“Let me address the issue that some in the LGBT community have raised regarding some of my Super Bowl tweets yesterday. I made several cracks about soccer as I do all the time. I was not referring to sexuality directly or indirectly regarding the David Beckham ad, and I’m sorry folks took it otherwise.”
But CNN took action anyway and GLAAD was glad:
“CNN today took a strong stand against anti-LGBT violence and language that demeans any community,” said GLAAD spokesperson Rich Ferraro in a statement. “Yesterday, Martin also spoke out against anti-LGBT violence. We look forward to hearing from CNN and Roland Martin to discuss how we can work together as allies and achieve our common goal of reducing anti-LGBT violence as well as the language that contributes to.”
Martin had about 96,000 Twitter followers as of today. He also does commentary for the Tom Joyner morning show (heard locally on Kiss 104.1) and TV One.
He was on CNN last night discussing the voting in Missouri, Colorado and Minnesota.
It’s late. I’m shutting down commenting for the night.
By Rodney Ho, Radio & TV Talk