MSNBC has ended its relationship with contributor Sam Seder over a recently resurfaced tweet referencing Roman Polanski’s rape conviction. The Wrap reports that Seder’s contract will not be renewed when it’s up in February and he has no scheduled appearances until then. The since-deleted tweet in question from 2009 read: “Don’t care re Polanski, but I hope if my daughter is ever raped it is by an older truly talented man w/a great sense of mise en scene.” The tweet was reportedly brought to MSNBC’s attention by alt-right social-media personality Mike Cernovich last month, and is said to have caused internal “disgust” at the network. Though Seder did not respond to The Wrap’s requests for comment, he discussed the tweet on his podcast The Majority Report last week, claiming that Cernovich had orchestrated a smear campaign to get him fired.
“This smear involves the willful misinterpretation of a tweet that I posted in 2009,” he said. Seder, who is also a comedian, actor, and filmmaker, explained that he wrote the tweet in response to a petition circulated in Hollywood at the time advocating for Polanski’s reentry into the U.S. despite a previous conviction for sexually assaulting a minor. He claims the tweet was meant to be satirical, aimed at pointing out Hollywood’s hypocritical defense of an abuser, and that he deleted the tweet out of “expedience” but now regrets doing so. He does not, however, regret calling out Polanski apologists. He continued: “I will never be ashamed of criticizing those who would excuse the predation of women or girls.”