Several of the highest profile media personalities have lost their jobs in recent weeks and months for sexual assault allegations. Networks, eager to protect their brand reputations, have been quick to fire even their biggest stars. This week, an incident happened at MSNBC, in which a star was fired for a sexually insensitive tweet sent in 2009, then rehired amidst controversy.
Sam Seder was fired for a tweet that several conservative media personalities read as advocating child rape. They claimed that the lack of outrage over such comments was a double standard that was jeopardizing people with conservative political views. Seder was fired, but after his company reinterpreted the tweet, was rehired.
“Sometimes you just get one wrong — and that’s what happened here,” MSNBC President Phil Griffin said.
“Don’t care re Polanski, but I hope if my daughter is ever raped it is by an older truly talented man w/a great sense of mise en scene,” Seder tweeted. He later explained that the tweet was meant to criticize people who defended Polanski on grounds of his artistic ability.
“EVERY media article has defended Sam Seder’s right to make child rape ‘jokes’ that would get anyone else fired, but yeah there is no media narrative at all, and there’s totally a diversity of viewpoint in the media. Yes, sure thing guys, we totally buy that,” wrote conservative media personality Mike Cernovich. MSNBC said that his pressure was ultimately the impetus for firing Seder.
However, MSNBC president Griffin continued that they changed course after he “heard the feedback.” He said he “understand(s) the point Sam was trying to make in that tweet was actually in line with our values, even though the language was not.”
“I appreciate MSNBC’s thoughtful reconsideration and willingness to understand the cynical motives of those who intentionally misrepresented my tweet for their own toxic, political purposes,” Seder said.