ESPN is rethinking its relationship with Barstool and has officially pulled the plug on its new show “Barstool Van Talk” after just one episode.
In a statement released to social media, ESPN president John Skipper blamed the Barstool brand for his decision to cancel the show effective immediately.
"In times like these, we remember what a great philosopher once said: Success isn’t owned, it’s leased. And rent is due every day"
“While we had approval on the content of the show, I erred in assuming we could distance our efforts from the Barstool site and its content,” he wrote.
Barstool, according to The Boston Globe, got its start by Dave Portnoy before selling 51 percent of the company in 2016. Its content is irreverent to say the least, and its staff is often criticized for racism or misogyny.
Barstool Sports president Dave Portnoy held an “emergency press conference” in a video shared to social media in which he cited internal pressure from ESPN staffers to sever ties with the Barstool brand. Typically, the site has been unkind to ESPN and its staffers in its commentary. On Wednesday, ESPN host Samantha Ponder tweeted her displeasure that the network was aligning itself with the site, which had some pretty negative things to say about her in the past, and Portnoy believes internal pressure led to the cancellation of the show.
“We are very disappointed to hear that ‘Barstool Van Talk’ has been cancelled by ESPN. We had a great time working on the show and were extremely excited about the future,” the hosts of the show said in a joint statement on Twitter. “In times like these, we remember what a great philosopher once said: Success isn’t owned, it’s leased. And rent is due every day.”