It has been confirmed that Columbus Short, who played “Harrison Wright” on the ABC drama, "Scandal," will not be returning for Season 4. Though no official reason has been given, observers continue to speculate that his swift exit at the height of the show’s popularity is due, in large part, to allegations made by his estranged wife, Tanee McCall-Short, that he choked her and placed a knife to her throat, all while threatening to kill her then himself.
On April 25, I stumbled across a recent episode of REACH Media, Inc.'s "The D.L. Hughley Show." During the radio show, Hughley, who once said that Black women are the angriest people he’s ever met, weighed in on the story. This man, who for some reason has been entrusted with a platform that reaches millions of people, used that platform to viciously and recklessly attack McCall-Short by calling her a “thirsty bitch” and a “thirsty ho.” Hughley further stated that she should just "shut the f*ck" up" about (allegedly) being assaulted so as not to jeopardize Short's income---and any future settlement she may receive.
He silenced Jasmine Sanders, his female co-host, when she not only attempted to defend McCall-Short, but also to broaden the context to discuss the very real domestic violence epidemic that plagues the Black community, primarily affecting Black women in heterosexual relationships.
In response to her concerns, Hughley laughed. He laughed. And in a cliché, misogynist tone, asked was something wrong with her and did she "need a hot water bottle."
It gets much worse.
I exposed Hughley's heinous segment in an essay for xoJane.com, "Laugh It Up, Folks, Abused Black Women Are The Joke Of The Day." Since then, Hughley's remarks have been picked up by more media outlets and gone viral.
Click here to read the essay and listen to the disturbing segment.
[UPDATE: Black America Web removed the audio after this petition began to go viral.]
A few of Hughley's most ignorant statements are listed below:
1.) "The star of one of the hottest dramas in the country, chokes the f*ck out of his wife? That doesn’t ever happen. I don’t think it happened first off. Like the time Warren Sapp was getting ready to do the Super Bowl and some broad said that he raped her. There are just as many examples of women lying on men in the middle of divorce proceedings to get what they want as there are men who actually do anything. My point is if he did what she’s alleging he did, she could still get all that she’s going to have and not bring it up now when it damages his market value that she’s going to be impacted by. If he loses that job nobody’s living in Calabasas anymore."
2.) "I guarantee you, three years from now she’s going to be thinking, 'Damn, I should have shut the f*ck up…women always running out the mouth when they shouldn’t.'"
3.) "This bitch was thirsty. The bitch was thirsty. What, she gone go back to dancing? She gone f*ck her money up?”
4.) "When you’re very young, you’re very volatile. I’ve been in situations where the police were called. I don’t believe that every time someone says something in the heat of anger, they actually mean it. Everybody want a thug dude, a passionate dude, until you gotta live with your mother in an undisclosed location. You know what kind of dude you picked. Stop it."
As I reported for xoJane.com:
According to the Institute of Domestic Violence In The African American Community (IDVAAC):
• As with other abusive men, African American men who batter are higher in jealousy and the need for power and control in the relationship.
• As with women of other races, among African American women killed by their partner, the lethal violence was more likely to occur if there had been incidents in which the partner had used or threatened to use a weapon on her and/or the partner has tried to choke or strangle her.
• Among African American women killed by their partner, almost half were killed while in the process of leaving the relationship, highlighting the need to take extra precautions at that time.
In addition to these sobering statistics, Black women are more likely to die due to domestic violence. As Nia Hamm reported for theGrio.com:
"According to a new study released in time for Domestic Violence Awareness Month this October, a new study shows that African-American women are at far greater risk of experiencing one of the most egregious forms of domestic violence than other groups. A recent report by the Violence Policy Center (VPC) in Washington, D.C. found that black women are about three times more likely to die at the hands of a current or ex-partner than members of other racial backgrounds.
"VPC, a national organization working to end gun deaths, reported that 94 percent of the black women killed knew their killers. More than half were killed by gunfire. And 64 percent of black victims who knew their offenders were wives, ex-wives or girlfriends of the killers."
Domestic violence is not a punchline.
We must hold D.L. Hughley and Reach Media's Black America Web --- which through the headline, "Why Columbus Short’s Wife Should Keep Her Mouth Shut," lends credence to Hughley's malicious and dangerous remarks --- to a much higher standard. One that doesn't mock the pain of Black women, assumes that we are liars or further endangers us by creating an environment in which our lived experiences with domestic violence are ignored and ridiculed while our dead bodies pile up in cemeteries across the nation.
We are demanding that D.L. Hughley publicly apologize for endangering the lives of Black women who may be victims of domestic violence by encouraging victims to remain silent for monetary gain. We are demanding that he apologize for victim-blaming and perpetuating a culture of violence against Black women.
We are requesting that several blocks of programming be dedicated to Black women, domestic violence and what can be done in the Black community to address this very real issue.
We are requesting that Hughley's show be suspended until such actions are taken.
If such actions are not taken, we will call on "The D.L. Hughley Show" sponsors to no longer financially support the dehumanization of Black women and the dismissal of domestic violence, one of the most important issues in the Black community.
We are demanding that Reach Media Inc. hold true to its mission of being "always fueled by the heart and soul of its community."
About Reach Media:
REACH Media Inc., founded by Tom Joyner, airs in more than 100 markets and reaches approximately eight million listeners.
REACH Media’s divisions include: BlackAmericaWeb.com, Sky Shows, SkyShowTV and the Tom Joyner Family Reunion.
EMAIL Tom Joyner: http://blackamericaweb.com/email-tom-joyner/