Reza Aslan says he is “very disappointed” CNN has chosen to cancel his series, Believer.
The cancellation follows a tweet Aslan sent following Saturday night’s attacks in London, in which Aslan responded to a tweet from Pres. Trump, and in the process called the president a “piece of shit.”
“CNN has decided to not move forward with production on the acquired series Believer with Reza Aslan,” CNN said in a statement. “We wish Reza and his production team all the best.”
“I recognize that CNN needs to protect its brand as an unbiased news outlet,” said Aslan in a statement. “Similarly, I need to honor my voice. I am not a journalist. I am a social commentator and scholar. And so I agree with CNN that it is best that part ways. (Full statement below)
Taking a victory lap this afternoon is the Media Research Center which encouraged more than 7,000 people to call CNN demanding Aslan’s removal.
“America has sent an unmistakable message to CNN,” said MRC president Brent Bozell. “We will not stand idly by while their so-called ‘religious scholar’ smears the president of the United States and conservative leaders with obscenity-laden insults. Our campaign to hold the liberal media accountable does not end here. This is just the beginning.”
Obviously I am very disappointed in this decision. Believer means a great deal to me and to the countless viewers it’s reached. Its message of religious tolerance and exploration is extremely important right now. I am deeply grateful to CNN for giving me the opportunity to launch the show and amplify my voice on their network. I am especially grateful to the legion of people within the turner organization who worked so hard to make the show a hit series. However in these politically charged times, the tenor of our nation’s discourse has become complicated, and I recognize that CNN needs to protect its brand as an unbiased news outlet. Similarly, I need to honor my voice. I am not a journalist. I am a social commentator and scholar. And so I agree with CNN that it is best that part ways. I look forward to partnering with another platform in the future to continue to spread my message. I wish CNN all the best.