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Comedian Artie Lange's '@midnight' appearance canceled over racial remarks on Twitter



Cari Champion, Host Of ESPN2's
Cari Champion, Host Of ESPN2's "First Take," at Highline Stages on Jan. 31, 2014 in New York City.
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Cari Champion, Host Of ESPN2's
Comedian Artie Lange visits SiriusXM's The Jason Ellis Show Live From Hooters In New York at Hooters on Oct. 22, 2014 in New York City.
Anna Webber/Getty Images for SiriusXM
Cari Champion, Host Of ESPN2's
Victoria Azarenka (R) of Belarus speaks to Cari Champion of the Tennis Channel at the Sony Ericsson WTA Tour All Access Hour during the BNP Paribas Open at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden on March 10, 2010 in Indian Wells, California.
Harry How/Getty Images
Cari Champion, Host Of ESPN2's
Comedian Artie Lange (L) and rapper Snoop Dogg attend DIRECTV'S Seventh Annual Celebrity Beach Bowl at DTV SuperFan Stadium at Mardi Gras World on Feb. 2, 2013 in New Orleans, Louisiana.
Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images For DirecTV
Cari Champion, Host Of ESPN2's
(L-R) Ralph Macchio, Cara Buono, Artie Lange and Howard Stern arrive at the world premiere of "Artie Lange's Beer League" at the Ziegfeld Theatre on Sept. 13, 2006 in New York City.
Brad Barket/Getty Images


Comedian Artie Lange, best known for spending almost a decade on "The Howard Stern Show," had a scheduled appearance on Comedy Central's "@midnight" canceled after making racially-charged remarks about an ESPN host on Twitter.

Tuesday morning, Lange tweeted a series of tweets saying that "the chick on ESPN's First Take is so ... hot" and described an extensive sexual fantasy about that host, Cari Champion. Lange's fantasy included Lange as Thomas Jefferson and Champion as his slave, and had tweets that tagged Champion's Twitter handle.

Those opposing Lange's comments tweeted about what Lange said with the hashtag #iSupportCari. ESPN repudiated Lange's comments, issuing a statement to BuzzFeed:

"His comments were reprehensible and no one should be subjected to such hateful language. They objectify and demean one of our valued employees under the thin guise of 'comedy' and are offensive to all of us. We will not dignify them with any other comment."

ESPN SportsCenter host Jay Harris tweeted his support for Champion and opposition to Lange's comments:

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Lange defended his comments, saying that they were meant to be observational comedy. He also initially refused to apologize for them, but did say that he was sorry if they hurt Champion.

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The controversy led to Comedy Central and "@midnight" canceling Lange's appearance Wednesday on the show, according to Lange.

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While Lange didn't get to appear on "@midnight" on Wednesday, he said on Twitter that he was scheduled to appear on the Racewars podcast where he was set to further discuss the controversy.

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While Lange initially doubled down, including making a joke about the situation involving actress Zoe Saldana, he later issued more of an apology, tweeting, "I have to take jokes like the ones I made more seriously."

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Champion hasn't responded to Lange's comments publicly, but didn't let it stop her from enjoying her first profile on ESPN's E:60 newsmagazine, which debuted Tuesday night.

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Lange has written two memoirs. He had a high-profile suicide attempt in January 2010 and spent eight months in a psychiatric ward. He has since acted on television and in film, as well as working as comedian and a radio and TV host.