Hank Williams Jr.
Hank Williams Jr. and ESPN part ways
“Are you ready for some football?” After more than two decades, ESPN and Hank Williams Jr. have called it quits. ESPN pulled his opening song after the country singer used an analogy to Adolf Hitler in discussing President Barack Obama on Fox News on Monday morning. Williams issued a statement Monday night insisting his remarks were misunderstood, he then apologized Tuesday.
Apparently in an interview Monday on Fox News’ ”Fox & Friends,” Hank Williams, unprompted, said of Obama’s outing on the links with House Speaker John Boehner: ”It’d be like Hitler playing golf with (Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin) Netanyahu.” Asked to clarify, Williams said, ”They’re the enemy,” adding that by ”they” he meant Obama and Vice President Joe Biden. (Fox News)
His intentions were to appear on the morning show, “Fox and Friends,” to promote a release of unreleased recordings by his father. Before they got that far, the anchors asked Hank Williams about politics. The singer talked about who might fare well in the upcoming Republican primary and then he began talking about the recent golf excursion between President Barack Obama and Speaker of the House John Boehner during the Congressional budget crisis. The singer likened the meeting between the two political opposites to be “like Hitler playing golf with (Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin) Netanyahu.”
Speaking with Ken Levitan, Hank’s manager, Billboard.com asked his opinion about his client’s comments, Levitan said, “I think it was blown out of proportion. What Hank meant was directed toward the extreme differences between the parties. I think he explained that in the statements he made afterwards. He’s a passionate guy. Obviously, he’s not an Obama fan. But I think he was talking about the two of them getting together were polar opposites. That’s what he was trying to get across. (Hank Williams Jr.’s website)
According to his website, Hank Jr. decided to pull his song from being used on ESPN for the remainder of the season. “After reading hundreds of e-mails, I have made MY decision. By pulling my opening Oct 3rd, You (ESPN) stepped on the Toes of The First Amendment Freedom of Speech, so therefore Me, My Song, and All My Rowdy Friends are OUT OF HERE. It’s been a great run.” — Hank Williams Jr
- ESPN benches Hank Williams Jr. for good (cbsnews.com)