CNN’s Roland Martin Suspension Prompts Meeting With GLAAD

CNN’s Roland Martin, a political and social analyst, was suspended indefinitely Wednesday from on-air time just days after the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation’s (GLAAD) discrimination outcry caught steam for Martin’s perceived ‘offensive’ tweets during the XLVI Super Bowl on Sunday.

Though Roland had insisted on a final statement, which in-part reads “I sincerely regret any offense my words have caused,” being sufficient on the supposed abhorrent tweets, CNN decided the analyst statement was not enough and took action.

“Roland Martin’s tweets were regrettable and offensive. Language that demeans is inconsistent with the values and culture of our organization, and is not tolerated. We have been giving careful consideration to this matter, and Roland will not be appearing on our air for the time being,” a CNN spokesperson confirmed.

The tweets in question were snippy references in regards to David Beckham’s sexy underwear ad for H&M bridled in banter and flippant manner Roland per usual tweets in.

“If a dude at your Super Bowl party is hyped about David Beckham‘s H&M underwear ad, smack the ish out of him! #superbowl,” Roland tweeted after the commercial aired. “Who the hell was that New England Patriot they just showed in a head to toe pink suit? Oh, he needs a visit from #teamwhipdatass.”

As the Twitter world go, it literally takes less than a second for an outrage to occur or get retweeted for that matter—hence, the backlash commenced.

“Dear @cnn its time to fire @rolandsmartin for his homophobic comments and his awful political analysis he tarnishes the CNN image. #FAIL,”Andy Szekeres tweeted in response to Martin’s tweets.

The catch-22 to Twitter is while information is easily dispensed in fragmented pieces, the exact shortened versions of information can become the tipping point for an albatross. Just throw in a few hash tags, become appalled, and viola a man’s job is hanging in the balance because his humor rings hollow for some uber sensitive people.

Instead of GLADD gaining clarity on Roland’s tweets by simply asking him what the less than 140 character tweets meant or ask for an apology via Twitter where the uproar initiated from, they instead targeted his direct means of supporting his family – his job.

“CNN today took a strong stand against anti-LGBT violence and language that demeans any community. Yesterday, Martin also spoke out against anti-LGBT violence. We look forward to hearing from CNN and Roland Martin to discuss how we can work together as allies and achieve our common goal of reducing such violence as well as the language that contributes to it,” Rich Ferraro, a GLAAD spokesman, said after Roland was suspended.

GLADD’s Ferraro said his organization had received a statement from Sharon Lettman-Hicks, executive director of the National Black Justice Coalition, the nation’s largest black lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender civil rights organization, calling for increased media visibility for issues affecting black LGBT people:

“While we are encouraged by CNN’s stance against language that incites anti-gay violence, we hope they also will make a commitment to shine more visibility on the hardships LGBT people of color face when trying to participate fully in their communities,” said Sharon Lettman-Hicks, Executive Director of the National Black Justice Coalition.

While accountability is necessary as an on-air presence, the inverted proceedings of “rid Roland of his job, and then meet with us” seem to suggest a bullying tactic. Where’s the group to speak out against that?

“Fam, late last night I received word of GLAAD’s invitation to meet with me, and as I have informed CNN…I look forward to meeting with GLAAD in the near future and having a productive dialogue.” Martin tweeted.

Does Roland Martin’s tweet warrant the loss of his job? When is an apology not sufficient?

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