After apologizing on Twitter when Ben Shapiro unexpectedly appeared at The Daily Wire booth at their conference last month, Podcast Movement President Dan Franks has issued the following statement, which includes an apology to Ben Shapiro.
“As we stated, we’re continuing to evaluate our policies guiding social media & events with inclusivity, diversity & respect for all. We have to start by sincerely apologizing to Mr. Shapiro for our reaction when he visited a booth we sold his company. That wasn’t right. Podcast Movement began in 2014, with four podcasters who had an idea to create a vibrant community that was for podcasters, by podcasters. We’re still those people with the same idea, and recognize there’s work to do as we grow. We are now looking to move forward, as we focus on that original mission from 2014 – being a hub for podcasting events, resources, news, and thought leadership.”
The entire Podcast Movement situation really played out on Twitter. The Podcast Movement string of apology tweets followed another tweet from an unknown conference attendee who said Podcast Movement was making him or her feel unsafe for allowing Shapiro to be there. Shapiro went to The Daily Wire booth, took a few pictures with fans, and left the building. He was there for about 15 minutes total.
Earlier this week, Cumulus cut ties with the conference. The Cumulus Podcast Network has been The Daily Wire’s advertising sales representative since 2016. The Ben Shapiro Show is also syndicated through Westwood One, which is owned by Cumulus.
The Company released the following statement: “At Cumulus Media, our tenet is that Every Voice Matters and we support conferences and trade events where differing political viewpoints can be expressed and received with respect. As such, we were dismayed and disappointed by Podcast Movement’s handling of the reaction to our partner, top podcaster, and conservative talk leader Ben Shapiro’s mere presence at Podcast Movement. After giving the leaders of Podcast Movement sufficient time to appropriately address their misstep, we are disassociating from Podcast Movement, including canceling our 2023 sponsorship plans.”
The Daily Wire co-founder Jeremy Boreing took to Twitter Thursday evening after hearing from Franks, and accepted the apology.