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CNN Parts Ways With Reza Aslan, Cancels ‘Believer’

CNN has split with Reza Aslan and cancelled Aslan’s series Believer after a profane tweet from Aslan blasted President Donald Trump. CNN said it has "decided to not move forward with production" on Believer, which started in March.

Aslan referred to the president as a “piece of shit” and “an embarrassment to humankind” on Twitter. The tweet followed Trump, on Twitter, pushing to have his travel ban enacted following a London terror attack earlier this month.

In late May, CNN fired comedian Kathy Griffin from her New Year’s Eve hosting duties at the network after Griffin shared a photo in which she was holding a fake severed head that looked like Trump’s.

Griffin apologized, as did Aslan.

Aslan said he was “very disappointed” in CNN’s decision. “Believer means a great deal to me and to the countless viewers it's reached. Its message of religious tolerance and exploration is extremely important right now. I am deeply grateful to CNN for giving me the opportunity to launch the show and to amplify my voice on their network,” he added.

CNN announced the show’s renewal at its upfront presentation last month. The description of Believer on CNN.com reads:

“In this new spiritual adventure series, renowned author and religious scholar Reza Aslan immerses himself in the world's most fascinating faith-based groups to experience life as a true believer.”

Michael Malone, senior content producer at B+C/Multichannel News, covers network programming, including entertainment, news and sports on broadcast, cable and streaming; and local broadcast television. He hosts the podcasts Busted Pilot, about what’s new in television, and Series Business, a chat with the creator of a new program, and writes the column “The Watchman.” He joined B+C in 2005. His journalism has also appeared in The New York Times, The Philadelphia Inquirer, Playboy and New York magazine.