A group of more than 40 black leaders across politics and media reportedly slammed MSNBC over its decision to cut ties with controversial weekend anchor Tiffany Cross.
The leaders, including NAACP president Derrick Johnson, Color of Change president Rashad Robinson and ex-ESPN personality Jemele Hill, have requested a meeting with MSNBC President Rashida Jones to address the situation, Semafor reported Monday.
“We are deeply disappointed in the abrupt cancellation of the Cross Connection and the unexpected ouster of its host, just four days before a critical midterm election,” the top officials said in a letter to MSNBC brass.
The ousted anchor’s defenders added the meeting was necessary to “discuss a path forward that is restorative to the reputation and dignity of Ms. Cross.”
In the letter, the officials also criticized MSNBC for deciding not to renew Cross’ contract just a few weeks after Fox News’ Tucker Carlson blasted her comments on race in a segment. During the segment, Carlson accused Cross of “genocidal talk.”
“His intentional misrepresentation of her platform amounted to no less than a direct attack, and should have engendered immediate defense and support of Ms. Cross by her parent network,” the letter said.
“Instead, it appears that NBCUniversal has allowed Fox News to dictate its hiring and unwarranted firing decisions. We cannot afford to be bullied by those who willingly and wantonly drag this country backwards.”
In a separate Twitter thread, Hill said that she was “outraged’ by MSNBC’s decision.
An MSNBC spokesperson confirmed to Semafor that the network received the letter.
“We are proud of our long history celebrating diversity on and off air at MSNBC and throughout the News Group. This is an ongoing effort, and we’ll continue to elevate diverse perspectives and voices during this election season and beyond,” the statement added.
The Post has reached out to MSNBC for further comment.
As The Post reported, Cross did not get a contract renewal offer from MSNBC and abruptly exited the left-leaning network after two years. The surprise ouster followed several instances in which Cross purportedly rankled MSNBC executives by making controversial remarks on-air.
Variety reported that Cross’ relationship with MSNBC ‘was becoming frayed” prior to the decision, with an insider telling the outlet that her behavior did not meet the network’s standards.
One such incident occurred during her recent appearance on Comedy Central’s “Hell of a Week with Charlamagne,” when cross referred to Florida as “the d—k of the country” when asked which state Democrats could afford to lose in the midterms.
“Florida literally looks like the d–k of the country, so let’s get rid of Florida,” Cross said. “Let’s castrate Florida.”
Cross also referred to Republican lawmakers as “white supremacists” after a jury in Kenosha, Wisconsin, acquitted Kyle Rittenhouse. She also argued that inherent racism in the NFL among “white owners” and “white coaches” contributed to an incident in which Miami Dolphins quarterback Tua Tagovailoa suffered a concussion.
Cross later responded to MSNBC’s move in a lengthy statement, writing that she was “disheartened” by the decision and noting that her show “The Cross Connection” was canceled just before the midterm elections.
Cross has previously clashed with media personality Megyn Kelly, who celebrated her rival’s firing in an episode of her podcast last week and described the ex-MSNBC anchor as “the most racist person in all of television.”