Melissa Etheridge Drops Out of SiriusXM Show to Protest Steve Bannon

Country superstar Melissa Etheridge threatened to cancel her involvement with SiriusXM in protest of the satellite radio giant naming Breitbart News executive chairman Steve Bannon host of its daily radio program Breitbart News Daily. 

The two-time Grammy-winning singer-songwriter took to Twitter Friday, writing: “After news that @SIRIUSXM has given  a show, I can no longer in good conscience be a part of my show @siriusxmvolume .”

Etheridge has been involved with SiriusXM music channel Volume and has hosted an interview program on the channel called “Melissa’s Basement.”

“I will fight for anyone’s right to free speech. I will not be a part of amplifying or normalizing hate speech,”  Etheridge tweeted in response to a Twitter user who said she “was wrong” to boycott SiriusXM over its decision.

SiriusXM’s decision to bring Bannon back to host Breitbart News’ weekday morning program on Patriot Channel 125, SiriusXM — which included expanded radio programming, including a new three-hour weeknight show, Breitbart News Tonight, and expanded weekend programming — saw actor Seth Rogen and former Vermont governor Howard Dean threaten to boycott SiriusXM.

“I was supposed to do a press tour on @SIRIUSXM on teusday but I’m no longer doing it because I can’t bring myself to appear on the same service that has decided to support Steve Bannon,” Rogen tweeted. “Apologies to the shows I had to cancel. And fuck Steve Bannon.”

“You should be ashamed of yourselves. I will not renew my subscription,” Dean tweeted, linking to the network’s tweet announcing the news.

In a statement to The Hollywood Reporter, SiriusXM spokesman Patrick Reilly defended the network’s decision and took a strong stand in support of free speech, saying: “Since its inception, SiriusXM has promised to deliver a diversity of opinions and viewpoints, from conservative to progressive to everything in between.”

“SiriusXM takes no political position of our own across our more than 175 channels, but we are here to provide an open forum no matter where listeners stand on the political spectrum. Free speech is vitally important,” the statement said. “We ardently believe that by allowing a virtually unlimited platform of viewpoints, we are doing our best to uphold that core value.”

Several center-left SiriusXM hosts came out in support of the platform’s decision, urging Dean and others to support free speech.

Breitbart News’ SiriusXM expansion comes as the network is drawing record page views. For more information on the SiriusXM expansion, look here.

Follow Jerome Hudson on Twitter: @JeromeEHudson

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