Food Network disowns host over abortion stance: ‘We regret giving him a platform’
Food Network is coming out swinging against one of its own after a viral Twitter war sparked by the US Supreme Court’s 5-4 vote to deny an emergency appeal filed by abortion providers in an attempt to block a Texas abortion bill that went into effect the same day.
Josh Denny — self-proclaimed “cancelled” comedian, podcaster and TV host — took to Twitter to respond to Wednesday’s news that effectively outlaws abortion in the state.
The 38-year-old former frontman of Food Network’s “Ginormous Food,” who describes himself as pro-life, posted a controversial thread celebrating the ban. He also used a slur while advising women to “calm down” — and said he disagreed that many women wouldn’t know they were pregnant within six weeks of conception.
The Twitterati backlash was swfit, as thousands of commenters loaded up his tweets with outrage, spurring Denny to respond: “Your freedom to be offended is commensurate to my freedom to offend you.”
Food Network took to social media to clarify its stance on the Philadelphia native’s controversial comedy — with a message that was “pinned” to its official Twitter page.
“For those asking: Our working relationship with Josh Denny ended years ago and we removed all episodes he hosted at that time,” the Food Network announced in the statement. “His views do not reflect our company values and we regret giving him a platform.”
For those asking: Our working relationship with Josh Denny ended years ago and we removed all episodes he hosted at that time. His views do not reflect our company values and we regret giving him a platform.— Food Network (@FoodNetwork) September 3, 2021
Meanwhile, Denny declared hypocrisy on behalf of his former employers’ attempt to distance themselves from his signature brand of button-pushing humor.
“If you regret having ever given me a platform, how about you send me a check for the 10s of millions of dollars my show made for your network(s)?” he tweeted. “You knew my views and my style of comedy when you hired me. My views represent the beliefs of half of this country.”
Denny told The Daily Wire that he understands his jokes might be offensive to some — but offered up the oft-repeated comic’s mantra in his defense: “Nothing is off limits” when it comes to comedy.
“I think everyone has horribly misunderstood me: I’m totally pro-choice,” Denny quipped in one tweet. “As long as the unborn babies are given AR-15’s to defend themselves, I’m fine with you going in there.”
“Ginormous Food”— which showcased restaurants serving America’s most gluttonous, oversized portions — premiered in January 2017 and ran for 24 episodes. He is currently the creator and host of “Next Week Tonight,” a “future news” program, which premiered in 2021 on the far-right online outlet Censored.TV.
This isn’t the first time Denny’s tweets have landed him in hot water with social media watchdogs. In 2018, he created quite the viral stir when he refused to apologize for this tweet: “‘Straight White Male’ has become this century’s N-Word. It’s used to offend and diminish the recipient based on assumption and bias. No difference in the usage.”
When called out for his inflammatory words, he admitted at the time that it was “very incendiary” — but refused to apologize.
“I take responsibility for it,” he said at the time. “I said those things.”