MSNBC Rehires Contributor Who Made Rape Joke
MSNBC is reportedly rehiring Sam Seder, the contributor who was let go by the network after an old joke about Roman Polanski surfaced on Twitter.
“Sometimes you just get one wrong,” said MSNBC president Phil Griffin. “Sam will be welcome on our air going forward.”
MSNBC was set to let Seder’s contributor contract expire next year because of a 2009 tweet he sent joking about rape and Roman Polanski. The tweet was unearthed by independent right-wing journalist Mike Cernovich. (RELATED: MSNBC To Cut Ties With Dem Contributor After Making A Rape Joke)
“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 mise en scene,” the tweet read.
Cernovich and those who called for MSNBC to fire Seder said the tweet made light of rape and seemed to be defending Polanski, who pleaded guilty to rape of a 13 year old girl. Seder argued that the tweet was actually a sharp critique of the people who were defending Polanski because of his directorial talents, and he accused his detractors of deliberately misreading the tweet to ruin his career.
Griffin seemed to accept Seder’s explanation, stating, “We made our initial decision for the right reasons — because we don’t consider rape to be a funny topic to be joked about. But we’ve heard the feedback, and we understand the point Sam was trying to make in that tweet was actually in line with our values, even though the language was not.”
According to The Intercept, Seder intends to accept MSNBC’s olive branch.
“I appreciate MSNBC’s thoughtful reconsideration and willingness to understand the cynical motives of those who intentionally misrepresented my tweet for their own toxic, political purposes,” Seder said in a statement. “We are experiencing an important and long overdue moment of empowerment for the victims of sexual assault and of reckoning for their perpetrators. I’m proud that MSNBC and its staff have set a clear example of the need to get it right.”