TV One is expounding on its explanation for last week’s cancellation of The DL Hughley Show.
A network executive says host D. L. Hughley was being pulled in too many directions, although it seems trouble between TV One and Hughley had been brewing for some time.
Shamia Holloway, TV One’s director of public relations, said the cancellation was prompted by the actor and comedian’s busy schedule, leaving him little time to focus on his nationally-syndicated radio program. Both TV One and Reach Media, which distributes the radio show, are part of the Urban One, Inc. umbrella.
“The DL Hughley Show on TV One was a great cross platform opportunity, however, balancing the added responsibility required to produce content for both the radio and television shows was not sustainable,” Holloway told Urban Hollywood 411 in a phone interview. “Therefore, D.L. will solely focus on his radio show, which he has hosted for over five years.”
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Holloway’s comments followed a tweet from the official TV One account on Thursday, Oct. 31, saying The DL Hughley Show would air its final episode that night, so the comedian could dedicate more time to the radio program.
While he does maintain a busy schedule, other national radio hosts, including Ryan Seacrest and Steve Harvey also hold down multiple jobs.
Reps for Hughley did not immediately respond to requests for comment. However, on the Oct. 28 episode of his late-night show, Hughley said the series would soon be going elsewhere, and “we can finally do what we want.” He tweeted a similar statement Thursday night, and urged fans to “stay tuned.”
Holloway declined to comment on Hughley’s social media post.
The DL Hughley Show debuted in March 2019, and featured celebrity interviews, along with political and social commentary from Hughley and co-host Jasmine Sanders.
Fans speculated on social media throughout the weekend that TV One pulled the plug on the program because Hughley was too “woke.”
As an example, they cited the Oct. 28 episode, where Hughley blasted President Trump and CNN host Van Jones for criticizing California Sen. Kamala Harris after the Democratic presidential hopeful announced she was dropping out of a criminal justice reform forum at Benedict College, an HBCU in South Carolina.
On Twitter, Harris expressed concerns that organizers planned to honor the president, and limit the number of students allowed to attend. Harris said she refused to be “complicit in papering over Trump’s record” on race.
Jones, a criminal justice reform advocate, responded with a tweet accusing Harris, a former California attorney general, of “running away” from an important conversation.
In a nearly five-minute commentary Monday night, Hughley tore into Jones.
“Almost any time Van Jones is somewhere and you’re a black person, you’d be wise to be on the other side of it,” he said.
“I have no idea what has happened to this cat, I don’t know what he believes, but he maligned Kamala Harris for refusing to sit in a room and be used for a prop, like he seems to do so eloquently,” Hughley added.
[Watch the video below]
The comedian then said Trump “uses black people for optics,” and described Jones as his shoeshine man.
“You maligned her because she refused to do what you did,” Hughley said. “Shine his shoes.”
Asked if Hughley’s comments about Trump and Jones led to the cancellation of his show, Holloway said no. She added that TV One will continue to work with the comedian.
“We absolutely cannot ignore D.L.’s enormous popularity and positive feedback that we got from his fans,” she stated. “We are exploring various content opportunities with D.L., to deliver coverage of political and social issues on our digital platforms.”