Food Network has had a number of stars over its decades airing food-related television programming, but this week, it had to publicly distance itself from a former host following some online controversy.
Recent legal decisions regarding abortion rights in Texas have ignited a wave of protests across the United States. But while many companies are trying to help those disenfranchised by the legal decisions, a comedian drew ire on social media for what he described as a joke that made his former employer state he no longer works there.
Josh Denny, a podcaster and comedian, sent out several tweets about a Texas law that banned abortions after six weeks. Though Denny claimed that he would “NEVER apologize” for what he claimed were just jokes, one tweet in particular and its use of a slur to describe women drew particular scorn from many on social media.
— George Takei (@GeorgeTakei) September 2, 2021
As the comment spread, some pointed out that Denny was a former host of Ginormous Food, a show on Food Network. That made Food Network issue a statement clarifying that the comedian no longer worked for the network, and that it no longer aired episodes featuring Denny hosting the show.
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
It’s worth noting that at least one clip from Ginormous Eats featuring Denny was still on the company’s official YouTube page. Denny responded on Twitter and spent the weekend retweeting stories about Food Network’s statement. It stands to reason that him doing this is not going to change the network’s stance that they regret ever working with him.