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