The latest twist in the Jemele Hill saga is fascinating. Lindsay Gibbs reports for Think Progress:
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.
“We never asked any other anchors to do last night’s show. Period,” an ESPN spokesperson told Kevin Draper of the New York Times in response to this report.
This could be semantical, because if Eaves and Duncan made it clear they would not do it before they were ever formally asked, this would ensure that they wouldn’t be formally asked to do it.
Notice there is no denial on the part of the report that Smith refused to host the show without Hill.