Amy Schumer cancels interview with Sinclair-owned TV station in wake of controversial ‘fake news’ video
Amy Schumer has scrapped a scheduled interview with a TV station in Washington, DC, due to the fact that the ABC affiliate is owned by Sinclair Broadcast Group, the right-leaning media conglomerate that has come under fire for forcing the local news anchors at its stations to read a scripted on-camera message decrying so-called “fake news.”
John Oliver first called out Sinclair last year in an episode of his HBO series “Last Week Tonight”, revealing that the news operations of Sinclair-owned stations were obligated to air “must-run” segments in their local newscasts, including commentaries by former Trump campaign staffer Boris Epshteyn and a daily report from the “Terrorism Alert Desk.”
However, a video produced by Deadspin (which quickly went viral) demonstrated how far-reaching Sinclair’s efforts had become, with dozens of anchors from stations throughout the U.S. forced to read the same copy, word for word. As Oliver noted on a recent edition of “Last Week Tonight”, the anchors appeared to look like hostages reading a ransom message. “Nothing says ‘We value independent media’ like dozens of reporters forced to repeat the same message over and over again like members of a brainwashed cult,” he quipped.
Since then, Sinclair has been taking fire for tactics some are describing as “Orwellian,” and Schumer’s cancellation marks the first time a celebrity has pushed back at Sinclair by withdrawing participation.
According to BuzzFeed, Schumer was to have sat for an interview with Sinclair-owned WJLA during the press junket for her upcoming film “I Feel Pretty”. A spokesperson for Schumer confirmed to BuzzFeed that Schumer did indeed scrap the interview, while “a person familiar with the matter” says the comedian “hopes to not work with any Sinclair-owned TV station in the future.”
WATCH: Latest news videos about Amy Schumer
On Wednesday Sinclair political commentator Epshteyn addressed the controversy by refuting charges of Sinclair’s right-wing bias, offering some points that some will consider to be questionable.
You can watch his response below.
© 2018 Entertainment Tonight Canada, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.