Podcast Movement apologized to The Daily Wire editor emeritus and podcast host Ben Shapiro on Thursday after alleging that his presence at their event caused “harm.”
The podcasting trade association initially came under fire for apologizing for Shapiro’s appearance at the annual PM22 exposition held Aug. 24. They took responsibility for the alleged “harm” caused by podcast host’s attendance at The Daily Wire’s booth and deemed his “presence” to be “unacceptable” in a now-deleted Twitter thread.
After the apology, Podcast Movement vowed in a Sept. 2 tweet to review their policies on “inclusivity, diversity and respect for all.” They followed up on their promise Thursday, expressing their remorse over their reaction to Shapiro’s appearance.
“As we stated, we’re continuing to evaluate our policies guiding social media & events with inclusivity, diversity & respect for all. We have to start by sincerely apologizing to Mr. Shapiro for our reaction when he visited a booth we sold his company. That wasn’t right,” the statement read.
As we stated, we’re continuing to evaluate our policies guiding social media & events with inclusivity, diversity & respect for all. We have to start by sincerely apologizing to Mr. Shapiro for our reaction when he visited a booth we sold his company. That wasn’t right. https://t.co/McxG9Ay0LT
— Podcast Movement (@PodcastMovement) September 8, 2022
The organization received backlash from conservatives and major radio giants over their remarks on Shapiro. Cumulus Media announced their plans Tuesday to cut ties with Podcast Movement and cancel its 2023 sponsorship plans for the annual conference after reportedly giving them “sufficient time” to backtrack their apology. (RELATED: Buzzfeed News Faces Blowback For Claim Ben Shapiro Radicalized A Nazi)
“At Cumulus Media, our tenet is that Every Voice Matters and we support conferences and trade events where differing political viewpoints can be expressed and received with respect,” the statement reads. “As such, we were dismayed and disappointed by Podcast Movement’s handling of the reaction to our partner, top podcaster, and conservative talk leader Ben Shapiro’s mere presence at Podcast Movement. After giving the leaders of Podcast Movement sufficient time to appropriately address their misstep, we are disassociating from Podcast Movement, including canceling our 2023 sponsorship plans.”
Cumulus is the owner of Westwood One, which has nationally syndicated “The Ben Shapiro Show” podcast since 2019.
The Daily Wire co-CEO Jeremy Boreing previously called Podcast Movement’s response “abject bigotry” and called on them to apologize to Shapiro.
“Though Podcast Movement quietly removed their bigoted tweet over the weekend, they still have yet to retract and publicly apologize for their hateful comments about Ben Shapiro and The Daily Wire. In an illiberal moment such as the one we’re currently living in, if we don’t stand up to this kind of bigoted behavior it’s only going to get worse. I certainly hope Cumulus’s strong response to Podcast Movement is the first of many others like it.”