How a viral slip of the tongue led to CSN Chicago firing Susannah Collins

Earlier this week we all had a good laugh when CSN Chicago reporter Susannah Collins had a slip of the tongue and said the Blackhawks had a tremendous amount of "sex" this season.  It was a harmless Freudian slip that happens dozens of times on dozens of networks around the country.  And yet, for Susannah Collins, her brief blooper led to a series of events that caused CSN Chicago to fire her thanks to a past life on the internet.

The Chicago Tribune reported that Collins was let go by CSN Chicago, not because of her Freudian slip earlier this week, but because her viral fame led to the revealing of a series of bawdy, suggestive YouTube videos:

AA_Logo_SM

Subscribe to the AA Newsletter

"Comcast SportsNet Chicago reporter Susannah Collins, part of the broadcast team covering the Chicago Blackhawks, is no longer with the network as of Thursday night, after two days of internet attention over a flubbed sentence on live television led to revelations about previous, more controversial sports show appearances.

"Due to circumstances unrelated to her on-air remarks Tuesday night, Susannah Collins and Comcast SportsNet Chicago have parted ways," Phil Bedella, vice president and general manager of CSN Chicago said in a statement. "We appreciate everything Susannah has contributed to our network over the past year and wish her the best in her future endeavors."

[...]

But the mistake put a spotlight on Collins, and that quickly refocused attention on a series of  raunchy YouTube videos uploaded between 2009 and 2010.  As co-host of Sports Nutz, Collins pushed the boundaries of sports journalism — and good taste — with sexually explicit reports and potentially offensive racial stereotypes. 

Produced by Middlebrow Media, the 16-video series drifted more toward lowbrow humor, with Collins and her female co-host, Sam Raddock, delivering everything from rowdy man-on-the-street interviews to a dramatic reading of the sexual exploits of former NBA player Darryl Dawkins' from his autobiography "Chocolate Thunder."

Those videos by Middlebrow Media were a series of lightly-viewed short vignettes under the Sports Nutz label.  Only two videos even have more than 10,000 views on YouTube.  The videos star Collins and Sam Raddock talking about various sports topics while basing it solely in NSFW content – lots of swearing, some questionable racial overtones, and tons and tons and tons of sexual content.  Just check this NSFW video out as an example, which has Collins admiring the anatomy of the sound guy, the ladies pulling guns on one another (I think to mock Gilbert Arenas and Javaris Crittendon), and a delightful segment of "Assphinctersayswhat"…

Another one features Collins and Raddock in bed reading sexually explicit excerpts about Charles Haley from Jeff Pearlman's Boys Will Be Boys.  Again, highly NSFW…

Yes, these videos are embarrassingly bad and should have disappeared into the internet ether or a few darkened frat rooms to never again see the light of day.  But it's not like Collins went from fighting about having sex with Tyreke Evans straight to the Blackhawks beat.  She worked for CBS New York, NFL Network, and Showtime before moving to CSN Chicago full time last year.  Did none of those companies including CSN Chicago do a brief Google and/or Youtube search to do a background check on Collins?

If these videos weren't a problem for any of those companies before, it doesn't quite seem fair that it would suddenly be an issue now that Collins was a viral star for like 3 minutes.  It's not like she's reading the most graphic parts of Darryl Dawkins' book on air and maybe she'll land on her feet at a place that is fully aware of her past work.

Then again, I understand the argument that if you want a legitimate professional career as a sports reporter, these videos probably aren't the best path to the top.  It's likely that the higher ups at CSN Chicago stumbled upon these videos once Collins' name began to be a popular search on YouTube and grew highly uncomfortable with her representing the company.  When one of your most popular videos is the 2010 Jew Fantasy Draft, it's not a good omen for a mainstream media career.

Everything ever published on the internet finds its way to the surface eventually one way or the other and it's an unfortunate, ironic twist that it was Collins' "tremendous amount of sex" flub that unearthed these explicit clips and led to her dismissal.

[Chicago Tribune]

Matt Yoder

About Matt Yoder

Managing Editor of Awful Announcing and award winning sportswriter. Bloguin consigliere. The biggest cat in the whole wide world.

Quantcast