It turns out the answer to Dustin’s question from last week is yes, Anthony Cumia is fired, for now at least. SiriusXM released a statement on Friday announcing his termination explaining that his “remarks and postings are abhorrent to SiriusXM, and his behavior is wholly inconsistent with what SiriusXM represents.”
Good news, right? Businesses are deciding that their employees can be in the public eye or they can go on hate- filled, racists public social media rants, but they can’t do both.
Of course the backlash from Cumia’s fan base has already started.
While this latest incident would seem to be the last straw, some fans have rallied behind Cumia, circulating an online petition which threatens to boycott Sirius XM until the station rehires him. The petition had more than 10,000 signatures as of Sunday night.
And Greg Hughes aka Opie is standing by his man tweeting on Sunday “Yes, I’m devastated. Yes, I’m meeting with @SIRIUSXM on tuesday.”
Cumia himself doesn’t appear to be ready to offer any public apologies.
“Sirius decided to cave and fire me,” he Tweeted on Friday morning. “Welcome to bizarro world. Fired for shit that wasn’t even on the air & wasn’t illegal. So, who’s next?”
The thing is Cumia doesn’t need to be sorry. His tweets weren’t illegal, and he doesn’t need to regret what he said. But we don’t have to like it. And his employer doesn’t have to allow its name and public image to be associated with any type of racist rant regardless of how justified its author feels. So Anthony, Adam, and Don, say it with me: freedom of speech does not mean freedom of repercussions from speech. You can say what you want. And we can think you’re a jackass for it.