Larry Wilmore implied that race was a factor when Comedy Central decided to cancel his show this week.
After a year and a half of production, the network announced that the last episodes of “The Nightly Show with Larry Wilmore” will air this week. (RELATED: Obama Assures Hollywood: Donald Trump Will Not Be President)
“I’m really grateful to Comedy Central, Jon Stewart, and our fans to have had this opportunity,” Wilmore told The Hollywood Reporter in a statement Monday. “But I’m also saddened and surprised we won’t be covering this crazy election or ‘The Unblackening’ as we’ve coined it. I guess I hadn’t counted on ‘the unblackening’ happening to my time slot as well.”
The “unblackening” is a term Wilmore coined this election season — and he defines it as the “de-Negrofying of the White House.”
Here’s how he explained it to Mashable earlier this year:
“When you have somebody like a Donald Trump,” Wilmore said at the time. “He made no bones about trying to disprove Barack Obama’s Americanism in trying to make him out to be some foreigner that was born in Kenya — I thought that to be very racist.”
“I don’t think that was masked at all, and I feel like there has been an element … of some ugly racial things. Not everyone is like that of course, and I think most people aren’t. But there is a streak of that on that side, and it’s not good. So that, to me, is part of my comic take. When people say ‘Let’s take our country back,’ my way of saying that is, ‘Yes, you want to unblacken the White House.'”
On Tuesday, Wilmore joked that because his show was canceled it must mean “racism is solved.”
“My only regret is we won’t be around to cover this truly insane election season,” he said. “Though, on the plus side, our show going off the air has to mean one thing: Racism is solved. We did it.”
A network executive at Comedy Central said they were canceling the show because it didn’t connect with audiences.
“We just didn’t feel like we had enough traction to sign up for another year. It wasn’t about the election — it’s about another year of the show,” Kent Alterman.
“Sadly, we’ve been hoping against hope that it would start to resonate in any of those quarters and we just weren’t seeing evidence of it. As much as we like Larry and the uniqueness of the show and the voices that are on the show — not just in terms of ratings — it hasn’t resonated in terms of our fans engaging with the show with consuming or sharing content or having a dialogue about it on social platforms.”
The show’s last episode airs Thursday. (RELATED: People Are Losing Their Minds Over #TrumpGirlsBreakTheInternet)