ESPN warning its outspoken broadcasters following 'Roseanne' controversy at ABC

ESPN warning its outspoken broadcasters following 'Roseanne' controversy at ABC
ESPN warning its outspoken broadcasters following 'Roseanne' controversy at ABC

ESPN managers are telling their most outspoken broadcasters and writers to be careful on social media in light of Disney axing Roseanne Barr’s TV show over her racist tweets, sources told The Post.

A source said that the Disney-owned ESPN was specifically reaching out to the most politically outspoken of its broadcasters. Jemele Hill, Keith Olbermann and Kenny Mayne are the ones most frequently associated with venturing outside of sports.

An ESPN spokesman declined comment.

In the last few years, ESPN has had several social-media flare-ups involving non-sports topics. Most notably, Hill called President Trump a “white supremacist” in September.

Hill was not suspended for the Trump tweet, but later was when she broached the subject of boycotting the Dallas Cowboys sponsors after team owner Jerry Jones said he would bench any player who disrespected the flag. Jones is a very influential member of the NFL’s TV committee, which decides which networks broadcast the games.

Olbermann, who spent many years as a left-leaning political commentator, has been very critical of the president, but has quieted down since he started his latest stint with ESPN. Mayne tweets often about politics.

While ESPN’s upper management on Thursday was mainly focused on getting the message to its most outspoken personalities, some managers also sent the word to broadcasters and writers who have never been embroiled in any social-media controversies pertaining to politics or race.

Disney chairman Bob Iger made the final call on canceling “Roseanne” after Barr tweeted that a former senior adviser to President Obama, Valerie Jarrett, looked as if “muslim brotherhood & planet of the apes had a baby=vj.

Iger called Jarrett to apologize, which prompted Trump to tweet, “Iger, where is my call of apology? You and ABC have offended millions of people, and they demand a response. How is Brian Ross? He tanked the market with an ABC lie, yet no apology. Double Standard!”

Ross was suspended in December and ABC did apologize after he incorrectly reported about Trump, Gen. Michael Flynn and contact with Russians during the 2016 campaign.

This article originally appeared in The New York Post.

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