UCR Professor Reza Aslan was dropped from CNN programing late last week after he tweeted over the weekend and compared President Donald Trump to human waste.
Aslan, a professor of creative writing at UCR also hosted the CNN program, “Believer.” Described as a spiritual adventure series, “Believer” took an in depth look at religions of the world.
In a Facebook statement on Friday, Aslan said, “Obviously, I am very disappointed in this decision. ‘Believer’ means a great deal to me and to the countless viewers its reached. Its message of religious tolerance and exploration is extremely important right now.”
Aslan expressed his gratitude to CNN for giving him the opportunity to launch the show and to amplify his voice on their network. “I am especially grateful to the legion of people within the Turner organization who worked so hard to make the show a hit series.”
Acknowledging that these are politically charged times, Aslan stressed that the tenor of our nation’s discourse has become complicated. “I recognize CNN needs to protect its brand as an unbiased news outlet.” He continued, “Similarly, I need to honor my voice. I am not a journalist, I am a social commentator and scholar. And so, I agree with CNN that it is best that we part ways.”
In early March, “Believer” was identified by CNN as a top performing original series among both total viewers and adults aged 25 to 54 and number one in younger viewers aged 18- 34. According to CNN, “Believer” outperformed MSNBC by triple digits in total viewers and adults 25-54, and was ahead of Fox News among viewers 18-34.
Aslan shared he looks forward to partnering with another platform to continue to spread his message, and wished CNN all the best.