Gregg “Opie” Hughes and comedian Jim Norton were back on the radio Monday for the first time since SiriusXM fired Anthony Cumia, the “Anthony” in “The Opie and Anthony Show,” over a series of racially-charged tweets following a late-night altercation in Times Square.
Though Opie made it clear he doesn’t agree with SiriusXM’s decision to fire Cumia “whatsoever,” he also revealed the first thought he had when he read his former co-host’s controversial tweets: “Oh, my god, we’re fired.”
“There was just something different about it. I’m like, ‘Oh my god, we’re fired.’ I think it was just the amount of tweets that he did and they were harsh, I mean, they absolutely were harsh,” Opie said. “And I understand why, because he was really mad at what happened. But I just knew in my gut, like this is not going to go well.”
He attributed the feeling of impending doom to the current “culture” that demands people be fired over any comments that are determined to be offensive.
Watch some of Monday's show via SiriusXM/OpieRadio (Warning: Very strong language):
Norton said the media’s coverage of the incident has annoyed him because they haven't focused on what he feels is one of the most important aspects of the story.
“He said harsh things, but he didn’t do harsh things,” Norton said. “I was annoyed at the press… If I had a pistol and that happened, I would’ve pulled it in sheer panic — and he didn’t. And he didn’t hit the woman back.”
Penn Jillette recently made a similar observation, jokingly comparing Cumia to Gandhi and Martin Luther King Jr. for not pulling his firearm while being assaulted.
Later in the segment, Opie addressed the fans who have been calling the two remaining hosts “traitors” for not quitting their jobs at SiriusXM in support of Cumia. He also seemingly risked getting in some trouble with management by calling them out live on the air at one point.
“I absolutely do not believe that Anthony should have been fired, OK? And the company is probably going to get really mad at that after this radio show,” he said. “As harsh as the tweets were, as much as I had that gut feeling this was going to go down, I just don’t agree with them whatsoever.”
Opie and Norton's current contracts with SiriusXM expire in October and their future plans are unclear. Opie explained on the air that breach of contract is a "big deal" and they could potentially be sued for millions of dollars if they don't honor their contractual obligations.
In the meantime, Cumia is planning to run his own podcast out of his Long Island home, "Live From The Compound." On Monday, Cumia posted a few tweets suggesting that it's technically possible the trio could reunite in October.
You can watch additional footage of the "Opie and Anthony" segment on Cumia's firing below (Warning: Strong language):