MSNBC has reportedly severed ties with contributor Sam Seder after a 2009 rape joke about film director Roman Polanski resurfaced on social media.
The network has chosen not to renew Mr. Seder’s contract, which ends in February, and he has no scheduled appearances until then, a spokesperson told The Wrap.
Mr. Seder’s tweet, which has since been deleted, circulated on Twitter last month after catching the attention of pro-President Trump activist Mike Cernovich.
Mr. Seder wrote, “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.”
A source familiar with the situation told The Wrap that the decision to drop Mr. Seder was directly related to the tweet.
“Internally there was disgust over the tweet,” the source said.
Mr. Seder didn’t respond to The Wrap’s “multiple” requests for comment, but he did address the controversy last week on his podcast, “The Majority Report with Sam Seder,” in which he claimed he is currently “under attack by the Nazi alt-right.”
“This smear involves the willful misinterpretation of a tweet that I posted in 2009,” he said. “I ask you to not allow this type bullying and authoritarian tactics to win the day.”
Mr. Seder said the offending tweet was written as satire to show how angry he was at the time that people in Hollywood appeared to excuse Mr. Polanski’s alleged sexual assault of underage girls due to his accomplishments in the film industry. He said the “alt-right” was only targeting him now because of his criticism of Republican Alabama Senate candidate Roy Moore, who is also facing allegations of sexual misconduct with underage girls.
“I will never be ashamed of criticizing those who would excuse the predation of women or girls,” Mr. Seder said Thursday.
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