The network announced a few days ago that it would be cutting ties with the progressive Internet personality after an old tweet of his surfaced.
In the tweet, Sam Seder poked fun at the liberal supporters of Roman Polanski, but the rape joke was taken to mean something else entirely by his detractors. He 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.”
The Intercept reports that the tweet was dredged up by right-wing journalist Mike Cernovich.
Following no small amount of outrage, MSNBC decided to sever its relation ship with Seder and not renew his contract after it expired in February 2018. Inside sources told TheWrap that the tweet did not go down well with his coworkers at MSNBC.
The Intercept reported today that multiple sources close to the story have confirmed that MSNBC has since reoffered Seder his job back and that he plans to accept. The report was confirmed by MSNBC president Phil Griffin and Seder himself.
“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 told the Intercept. “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.”
“Sometimes you just get one wrong and that’s what happened here,” said MSNBC president Phil Griffin in a statement, “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. Sam will be welcome on our air going forward.”
Sam Seder’s initial dismissal came in the wake of several high-profile firings at the company over sexual harassment allegations. NBC fired Today host Matt Lauer for “inappropriate sexual behavior.” Lauer’s dismissal came almost a month after the network fired veteran journalist Mark Halperin for workplace sexual harassment at his prior job at ABC News.