ESPN's is pulling the plug on one of its new shows.
Just days after kicking off the new program, ESPN has pulled the plug on Barstool Van Talk after airing just one episode.
In a statement, ESPN head honcho John Skipper said the program was cancelled "effective immediately." The problem seems to be the subject matter that was covered in the first episode and the way in which it was communicated to the viewing public. “While we had approval on the content of the show, I erred in assuming we could distance our efforts from the Barstool site and its content," added Skipper. Barstool Sports, one of ESPN's latest bedfellows, is a sports site that is known curating admittedly raunchy content to a young, millennial audience, a demographic that the Mothership was certainly hoping to capitalize on in terms of advertising dollars. Alas, this abrupt cancellation will more than likely divide the two sides and their styles of content generation even further.
The interview/comedy show, which was briefly hosted by Barstool’s Dan “Big Cat” Katz and PFT Commenter, featured Henry Lockwood as a producer. The three men produce the comedic sports podcast Pardon My Take, a show that is known for assuming mocking tone that is aimed at the popular sports media outlets. ESPN, which is owned by Disney, always seemed to be an awkward fit with Barstool and their brand of humor, but things seemed to have come to a head with this decision. There have also been accusations, as per Variety, of Barstool's penchant for making racist or sexist comments about men and women in the news, with an example being when they called the 2015 Miss America winner "a whore."
In an "emergency press conference" video released on social media, Barstool's founder Dan Portnoy cited "internal pressure" as the main reason why ESPN decided to can Van Talk. “ESPN needed us more than we needed them,” he said, insisting that Barstool was not sexist or racist. “We make fun of everybody," he added. Watch the entire video response below.