Michael Smith Jemele Hill SC6

Jemele Hill’s suspension has now led to her SC6 co-host Michael Smith taking the day off. The Wrap’s Tony Maglio writes that Smith made a “mutual” decision with ESPN not to anchor Monday night following the news that the network had suspended Hill for two weeks:

Forget Jemele Hill, even Michael Smith won’t be anchoring ESPN’s “SC6” tonight.

The male anchor’s decision was a “mutual” one between he and the network, TheWrap is told. Smith’s co-host Hill was suspended for two weeks today for a second violation of ESPN’s social media policy.

Maglio says Smith is set to return Tuesday. But it’s notable to see this again, as Smith reportedly refused to do SC6 without Hill in September when ESPN tried to pull her off air for a day in the wake of critical comments from White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders. At that time, Lindsay Gibbs and Judd Legum of ThinkProgress reported that other black hosts turned down ESPN attempts to have them serve as fill-ins for Hill and Smith:

ESPN originally tried to keep Hill off the air on Wednesday evening, but Smith refused to do the show without her, the sources said. Both sources also said that producers reached out to two other black ESPN hosts, Michael Eaves and Elle Duncan, to ask them to serve as fill-ins for the show — but Eaves and Duncan did not agree to take the place of Hill and Smith, either.

…Faced with the possibility of having to replace Hill and Smith with white co-hosts, the sources said, ESPN then called Hill and asked her to come back on her show.

That apparently didn’t stop ESPN from suspending Hill this time around, but it’s certainly notable that Smith is again not doing the show without her. And that helps illustrate the widespread support Hill has within ESPN.

The network’s decision to suspend her here is one of the harsher penalties they’ve ever handed out, and it isn’t going to sit well with many of her coworkers. We’ll see who they use on SC6 without Hill (and without Smith Monday), but there are plenty of external viewers and media members mad at how ESPN has handled this. And it sounds like some of those inside ESPN are upset as well, and it will be worth watching to see if any of them show that publicly.

[The Wrap]

About Andrew Bucholtz

Andrew Bucholtz is a staff writer for Awful Announcing.

  • Wayne Lynch

    I dont think there is an SC6 tonight anyway….Monday Night Countdown starts at 6. Moot point folks. Or was it on the deuce??? Doubtful they would program it against a pre game NFL show

    • Captain Insanity

      I think it’s usually on ESPN2 on Monday nights. Then again, I never watch the 6 PM SportsCenter, so I couldn’t tell you for sure.

      • Wayne Lynch

        My guess is they simply pre-empted SC6 Monday night at 6, but the author of the article could have made that clear.

        • Son of Rusty Shackleford

          That would mess with his agenda; can’t have that!!!

        • Patrick Ryan Williford

          Due to NFL it moves to ESPN2 on Mondays.

          • Wayne Lynch

            Why would anyone care that it is on ESPN2 opposite football pregame anyway? It was a NON ‘mutual decision,’ designed to get him off the hook. With no one barely the wiser. Regardless, the writer could have made this a point of contention.

          • Patrick Ryan Williford

            I’m just stating facts as you original post made it seem like this was just a one week preemptive and that it airs every Monday on ESPN which is incorrect during the NFL season. And you commented so you obviously care.

          • Wayne Lynch

            Pal, my point was that staying off ESPN 2 on a football night is not a major concession by the network or Smith and that if the show is usually shown there, it should have been mentioned by the author. Try reading, it’s fun.

          • Wayne Lynch

            And, no, I don’t care….just looking for accuracy in the story. Pretty easy to back out of doing the show on the deuce….what if it was on the main channel. Think they all would pass on the show?

  • Chuck Berger

    Who gives a S – – T if either one of them is ever seen on TV again? They ought to get off their high horses and get a real job.

  • Clayton Indicott

    Wait, the cohost isn’t on with her and that means she has widespread support at the network?

  • Wayne Lynch

    Well, it is 6 and SC6 is not on ESPN. The author laid out some fake news with this scam post.

    • Captain Insanity

      It would be on ESPN2 tonight because Monday Night Countdown is on ESPN every Monday at 6.

    • MrBull

      Not really…there are 4 baseball playoff games going on which is more important then the bs from Smith-Hill…
      Plus, Espn purge their on air talent they can’t get anyone to work the show…

  • MrBull

    Smith better read his contract or at least have his agent read it to him – Espn pays him not Hill…and if keeps up supporting Hill, Smith better have his agent line up another job because Smith will be gone when Hill takes it to the next level as she will…

    • nbtx27

      Correct. He has a contract. If he chooses not to work, breaking his contract, ESPN should simply replace him. It really is his choice. Enough of this bs. Try to get back to sports, only. That is the only hope for ESPN.

  • Scott Fitzgerald

    Just bring back Lindsay Czarniak already. SC6 is not working.

    • Shawn Diiorio

      The most boring person at ESPN. Should have been part of last years layoffs.

  • Carter_Burger67

    ESPN is a dumpster fire.

    • CreightonRabs

      That would be an insult to dumpster fires…

      • Carter_Burger67

        a dumpster fire in a meth lab.

  • Hephaestus

    So Sportscenter at 6 was watchable?

  • Shawn Diiorio

    SC6 is just not working out. It’s been a mess, I wanted to like these two in a prominent role, but it seems like they can’t do any of the things that made them so successful on nnl and h & h. A shame.

  • Wayne Lynch

    Around the Horn was on the deuce at 6, not SC6. Just FYI….

  • Super Mateo

    So if one host get herself suspended and the other refuses to host without her, the answer is simple. Cancel the show and put something else in its place.

    • nbtx27

      It would be a huge improvement.

  • common_sense_is

    SC6 might actually have been watchable today then. I hope today was their highest ratings of all time and they permanently suspend Hill and Smith as a result.

  • H8r Bl0cker

    So, this is a black host only show? Seems kinda racist to me. Are white hosts not good enough?

    • if I were a television producer, and I learned how to be one in college, I would never do something that racist with two white anchors, just saying.

  • do people actually watch ESPN when there’s no live events?

    • Kyle J

      Very few

  • Raymond Chuang

    I really wonder given the controversy surrounding Jemelle Hill, has ESPN really seriously considered ending “The Six”? My guess is a possible _yes_, because I think behind the scenes, the show’s lower-than-expected ratings and the Hill controversy are unnerving advertisers.

  • Kyle J

    The article says Hill widespread support within ESPN I highly doubt that. She brings it all on herself. Can never set the Twitter down.

    • John Danknich

      Trump is called out for that all the time. but when the sainted Jemelle Hill does it, well, that’s different!

      • PAI

        Trump works for the voters, Hill works for ESPN.

        • John Danknich

          That’s even worse. Like it or not, ESPN is a business, not a social justice organization. ESPN will still be doing business with the NFL is come capacity long after Jemelle Hill has come and gone from ESPN. As someone else has commented, I think she wanted to get suspended so she can play the victim card.

    • it’s not that you have to “set the Twitter down,” it’s more that you have to be responsible when you use it.

  • John Danknich

    Not like anyone watches SC6, anyway.

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  • Brettwurst

    They need ESPN more than ESPN needs them.

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