Whoopi defends Hank Williams Jr. free speech on 'The View' (VIDEOS)
By April MacIntyre Oct 6, 2011, 19:00 GMT
ESPN decided on 03 October 2011 to pull Williams\' musical introduction from Monday Night Football, which has been used for more than 20 years, after Williams likened US President Barack Obama to Adolf Hitler during an interview on Fox News. EPA/TANNEN MAURY
Hank Williams Jr. and ESPN have parted ways in a messy divorce, played out on TV after a fateful Fox & Friends visit by Williams where he likened President Obama to Hitler.
The country singer and ESPN each claimed they made the decision on Thursday morning to ax his song opener to "Monday Night Football."
"After reading hundreds of e-mails, I have made MY decision," Williams said in a statement to The Associated Press.
"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."
But ESPN's statement said: "We have decided to part ways with Hank Williams Jr. We appreciate his contributions over the past years. The success of Monday Night Football has always been about the games and that will continue."
Williams' song had been a "Monday Night Football" opener since 1989.
The song is based on Williams' hit "All My Rowdy Friends Are Coming Over Tonight." The lyrics were changed each week to reflect the night's game.
Williams' statement on "Fox & Friends" was after he described the golf game between Obama and Republican Rep. John Boehner to Hitler and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu having a round on the links.
"It'd be like Hitler playing golf with Netanyahu," Williams said during the satellite interview.
Williams said, "They're the enemy," adding that by "they" he meant Democratic President Obama and Vice President Joe Biden.
Williams' defenders were Whoopi Goldberg and Joy Behar of "The View," who defended his free speech.
"Those among us who are without sin, cast the first stone," Goldberg said.
FROM THE WEB
Further Reading on M&CHank Williams, Jr. Biography - Whoopi Goldberg Biography -
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