Shannon Sharpe Deflects Criticism Of Katt Williams Interview: "I Never Said I Was A Journalist"

Sharpe referred to himself as a "conversationalist" and not an "interviewer."

BYBen Mock
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Shannon Sharpe has defended himself against criticism stemming from his now-viral interview with Katt Williams. "I never said I was a journalist. I am not an interviewer. What I always say at the start of my show is that the person who is coming on the show is coming over for a conversation and a drink. I'm a conversationalist," Sharpe explained to his Nightcap co-host Chad Johnson. Furthermore, Sharpe noted that his show gets the big-name guests that it does because Sharpe offers a "safe space" for them to come and talk.

However, much of the criticism for the interview stems from Sharpe's passive role as host. In essence, Sharpe just let Williams talk for two hours without much guidance. The most input Sharpe typically had was the occasional outraged interjection when Williams said something particularly wild. Sharpe's insistence that he is not a journalist and has never called himself a journalist is indicative of a major trend in the media landscape. Many people who would once be called journalists are now "content creators" because it sheds the weight of responsibility that the term "journalist" comes with. Sharpe doesn't need to fact-check his guests because he's not there to interview them, he's there to have an informal chat with them.

Read More: Shannon Sharpe Shocked By Brittany Renner's Body Count: Watch

Gilbert Arenas Defends Kevin Hart To Shannon Sharpe

Despite this, many people in the comedy industry have come with harsh words for Williams. Gilbert Arenas adamantly defended Kevin Hart during a conversation with Sharpe after Williams called Hart an "industry plant". Arenas explained that Hart found success forging a career and succeeding in roles that Williams himself admitted to turning down. In Arenas' eyes, that didn't make Hart a plant, but instead, someone simply making do with the opportunities he could get. Furthermore, Arenas questioned why Williams was trying to diminish Hart's career for accepting the roles that Williams, as mentioned, had admitted to not wanting in the first place.

It echoes some of the comments that Michael Blackson made about Williams in his own response to the bombshell interview on Club Shay Shay. In a series of tweets, Blackson argued that while Williams was an all-time great of comedy, his interview was inflammatory by design. He argued that Williams was "trying to seem relevant" and should remember that he is not the "Katt Williams of 2005".

Read More: Gilbert Arenas Gives Wild Take While Defending Zion Williamson

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About The Author
Benjamin Mock (they/them) is a sports and culture writer working out of Philadelphia. Previously writing for the likes of Fixture, Dexerto, Fragster, and Jaxon, Ben has dedicated themselves to engaging and accessible articles about sports, esports, and internet culture. With a love for the weirder stories, you never quite know what to expect from their work.