WASHINGTON — It’s not that the guys at the “Opie and Anthony” radio show on SiriusXM haven’t seen their share of controversy. They’ve withstood fines and firings before, but this time the corporate action against one-half of the team was swift, and because of the nature of the Tweets in question, could spell the end of the show in its latest incarnation.
Anthony Cumia, who has worked in radio with Gregg “Opie” Hughes for 20 years, was taking pictures at Times Square in New York when he was assaulted by a woman who thought he was taking pictures of her, he said. Cumia, in describing the incident in a litany of Tweets, said he was punched by this woman repeatedly. No police were called. Yet on Twitter he spoke of his personal persecution and repeatedly called out her race, calling her a black “–itch,” “-unt,” “animal,” and “savage,” among other names, and promising that if he was an “illegal gun owner” he would have shot her.
In a statement, SiriusXM said “The decision was made, and Cumia informed, late Thursday, July 3 after careful consideration of his racially- charged and hate-filled remarks on social media. Those remarks and postings are abhorrent to SiriusXM, and his behavior is wholly inconsistent with what SiriusXM represents.”
Anthony was not cowed. In a Tweeted response, he said, “Sirius decided to cave and fire me. Welcome to bizarro world. Fired for sh- -t that wasn’t even on the air & wasn’t illegal. So, who’s next?”