Comedian Kathy Griffin isn’t the only CNN personality to lose their job following an ill-received public condemnation of Donald Trump. On Friday, the cable network announced it would be dropping Believer with Reza Aslan and its titular host, who also serves as a frequent commentator on CNN’s other news programs. In a statement obtained by Variety, the network said it “[had] decided to not move forward with production on the acquired series Believer with Reza Aslan,” and that they “[wished] Reza and his production team all the best.”
The Iranian-American religious scholar, author, and now-former show host drew ire from the right for his response to a series of tweets posted by Trump in response to the London Bridge terror attacks on Saturday. From politicizing the event almost immediately with renewed calls for his maligned “travel ban,” to ridiculing London Mayor Sadiq Khan for an out of context quote, the president garnered plenty of criticism himself. Aslan, however, became a conservative target when he tweeted, “This piece of sh*t is not just an embarrassment to America and a stain on the presidency. He’s an embarrassment to humankind.”
Aslan subsequently deleted the tweet in question and issued an apology, saying he “should not have used a profanity” in his response to Trump’s tweets about the London attacks. On Sunday, a CNN spokesperson noted he “[was] not a CNN employee, but does host a series on the network,” and they they were “pleased that he has apologized for his tweets. That kind of discourse is never appropriate.” Come Friday, however, it seems CNN ultimately decided to cut ties with Aslan over the incident. Had the network decided to continue with Believer, the series would have earned a second season if picked up.