If you thought fired ‘Opie and Anthony’ host Anthony Cumia was uncensored on SiriusXM, just imagine the freedom with which he will speak now that he’s his own boss on “The Anthony Cumia Show.”
Cumia’s subscriber-based, high-definition video podcast premiers on Monday at 4 p.m. on AnthonyCumia.com, and in addition to pushing the boundaries of what listeners expect a podcast to be, he is also giddy about the prospect of letting SiriusXM know that they “f***ed up” by firing him.
In a wide-ranging interview with TheBlaze, Cumia opened up about the now-infamous Times Square incident that got him fired, his views on race, his new show, and more.
He also somewhat-proudly estimated that many subscribers have canceled their SiriusXM subscriptions to support his new endeavor. Though he wouldn’t reveal how many people have subscribed to “The Anthony Cumia Show,” he said the numbers are "very, very good" and have surpassed his target.
SiriusXM quickly fired Cumia after he posted a series of explicit, furious tweets about a woman who he says physically assaulted him while he was taking late-night photographs with his professional camera in Times Square. In addition to calling the woman a “c**t” and a “savage,” he also added his own “social commentary” about the “violence problem in the black community,” which he says may have been his one mistake.
You can read the tweets posted in a previous report, here.
We bluntly asked Cumia to address some of the allegations made against him during the fallout of the now-infamous Times Square incident that led to his firing.
“Do you believe that black people are savages?” we asked.
“No, I don’t. And I’ve never presented anything that should have led anyone to believe that,” he answered.
“Do you believe that all black people are violent?”
“No, I absolutely do not,” Cumia said.
He went on to say that the “only mistake” that he made during the whole ordeal was inserting his “social commentary” while he was angrily bashing the woman he says punched him several times.
Cumia argued that by inserting his issues with "disproportionate levels of violence" in the black community into the conversation, he gave people the opportunity to incorrectly attribute the things he said in anger about his assailant to his views about black people in general.
That said, he’s definitely not sorry.
“I was extremely angry,” he told TheBlaze. “I don’t regret what I said and I will never apologize for anything I did — I would do it all over again.”
He put the emphasis on "never."
The 'Race' Issue
Any regular listener of “The Opie and Anthony Show” is well aware that Cumia is brutally honest and many times controversial when it comes to race issues. He has engaged in epic radio battles with black comics like the late Patrice O’Neal and D.L. Hughley on the hot-button topic.
Cumia routinely cites crime statistics to support his claim that there is a “disproportionate” level of violence in the black community. For example, despite making up about 12 to 14 percent of the U.S. population, 49.7 percent of all murder and manslaughter suspects are black, 55.6 percent of robbery suspects are black and 33.6 percent of aggravated assault suspects are black, according to the FBI.
“I think there’s just this cloud that is lingering over this country and no one really wants to address the problem,” he said. “And if you put in front of their face, they have to address it. … All that stuff now can’t even be addressed, it can’t be spoken of. Everyone talks about this open and honest dialogue on things like race, and the last thing they want is an open and honest dialogue.”
He continued, “Why do people not want to hear it? I don’t know, It’s not a good thing to have to hear, especially if you are part of that community.”
Cumia admitted that “no one is going to listen to me” on race issues, but it should be the successful people in the black community who are the most vocal about addressing things like violence among blacks. He also argued that the many successful black people in America face discrimination based on the behavior of a smaller percentage of black people.
“Those are the people who should be more angry than anybody,” he said. “There are so many productive members of black communities that aren’t speaking out enough because they are petrified of being labeled an Uncle Tom or a traitor to their community.”
SiriusXM, 'Opie' and Jimmy Norton
As far as his former bosses at SiriusXM go, Cumia says his contract was completely cancelled and he is under no gag order restricting what he can talk about on "The Anthony Cumia Show."
“They don’t have a leg to stand on as far as what I want to talk about. I can talk about any of the staff, the management over there — and believe me, I will,” he added.
He offered us a small taste of his grievances with his former employer.
Cumia recalled a meeting with SiriusXM President Scott Greenstein, during which he told the "Opie and Anthony" crew that all the company cares about are subscriber numbers.
"We were trying to tell him how important the talent end of things are, getting out and meeting the fans and everything else, and he was just looking up at the ceiling, couldn’t give a sh*t, and he blatantly told us all they care about is sub numbers," he told TheBlaze.
That's why he said he can't help but be grateful to the "amazing fans" who he says have canceled their SiriusXM subscriptions and supported him.
But there are two SiriusXM employees he doesn't have a single bad thing to say about: His former co-hosts Gregg "Opie" Hughes and comedian Jim Norton. Rumors swirled after Hughes and Norton -- who are under contract until October -- stayed on the air after Cumia was fired.
From left to right: Jim Norton, Anthony Cumia, Gregg "Opie" Hughes. (Cindy Ord/Getty Images for SiriusXM)
The fired radio host dismissed speculation of bad-blood between the three as ridiculous. He also said his attitude towards cancelled SiriusXM subscriptions has nothing to do with wanting his former partners to fail and everything to do with showing the company that they "f***ed up" by firing him.
"We are all devastated that this happened and that we are not able to continue the show together. But I love those guys. I think they are really talented and I would really hope to work with them again in the future," Cumia said.
For now, Cumia is going at it alone.
‘The Anthony Cumia Show’
Without any FCC regulations or corporate bosses, Cumia says he will now be able to discuss controversial issues like race freely without fear of the "PC mob" calling for him to be fired over something he said. Essentially, Cumia aims to become "untouchable."
"There is no one really to run to. Where can an angry person go that can honestly get me in trouble at this point for what I’m saying? I'm not inciting anything, I’m not doing anything illegal," Cumia said.
In a way, Cumia said he hopes to become the Ann Coulter of the new era of video podcasting.
"I've always admired Ann Coulter. I love her," he told TheBlaze. "She says whatever she wants, she has a great career and she's basically untouchable. She just tells them to go screw themselves, and she puts out books, and people love her, and they are bestsellers. And she’s in that position. I want to be in that position."
At $6.99 a month, subscribers gain access to Cumia's two-hour live show in high-definition from Monday through Thursday, 4-6 p.m. ET. The video and audio will also be available to stream after the shows. Additionally, he said he plans to do a special event maybe once a month that even non-subscribers can watch via a pay-per-view scheme.
Cumia said he plans to use his entire Long Island home, popularly known as "the compound," as a TV set. Some segments will be shot in the TV studio he's spent years building, some by his lavish pool and others at the bar in his basement. Technology is at a point now that it's time to push the limits of what an Internet-based video podcast can be, he explained.
There will be a special guest on "The Anthony Cumia Show" on Tuesday, but he wasn't willing to reveal who it is just yet. He said he will make the announcement during Monday's premiere episode.
Watch Cumia describe his new show in greater detail (Warning: Some strong language):