ESPN cancels Barstool Van Talk show after one episode


Barstool Van Talk starred two hosts cracking jokes in the back of a van and chatting about sports throughout their antics.
Barstool Van Talk starred two hosts cracking jokes in the back of a van and chatting about sports throughout their antics. PHOTO: TWITTER/RIGGSBARSTOOL

NEW YORK (Bloomberg) - ESPN cancelled the show Barstool Van Talk after one episode following a social media backlash over why the Walt Disney-owned network was affiliated with a company that makes offensive remarks about women.

Barstool Van Talk starred two hosts cracking jokes in the back of a van and chatting about sports throughout their antics. The show was adapted from a popular Barstool podcast called Pardon My Take.

"While we had approval on the content of the show, I erred in assuming we could distance our efforts from the Barstool site and its content," ESPN president John Skipper said.

The move is the latest fumble for ESPN, the largest profit generator for Disney.

The network came under fire for terminating some on-air hosts for cause while allowing anchor Jemele Hill to continue despite violations of the company's code of conduct.

Barstool Sports is a satirical sports and men's lifestyle site.

Sam Ponder, an ESPN host, pointed to offensive remarks about her that Barstool made in a 2014 blog post.

In a press conference following ESPN's announcement, Barstool Sports founder David Portnoy said his company is unfazed by the network's decision.

He said the show's cancellation illustrates why ESPN is losing viewers while Barstool's popularity rises, and was confused by Mr Skipper's assertion that the network could distance itself from his blog.

"You just played right into our hands," said Mr Portnoy. "How stupid were you to think you could get Barstool without getting Barstool?"