Opie describes his first reaction to Anthony Cumia's lengthy Twitter rant: "Oh my God, we're fired"
The show formerly known as Opie & Anthony returned live on SiriusXM Radio Monday, with Gregg "Opie" Hughes and Jim Norton embarking on their bizarre new reality of continuing their show in the wake of Anthony Cumia's firing.
After beginning the show by remarking how strange it is to be broadcasting without longtime cohort Anthony Cumia, Hughes and Norton revealed their reactions to Cumia's racist tweets, his firing by SiriusXM and why the two are continuing with the show.
"It needs to be said that we're under contract. … I don't think people understand fully what being under contract means and what breach of contract means," Hughes said. "We can't just walk away. Breach of contract is a real issue. … We could be sued for millions. … It would be a big f—ing problem."
The two remaining hosts also revealed their reaction to Cumia's tweets and why they were told he was fired.
Hughes said his initial reaction after reading Cumia's tweets was, "Oh my God, we're fired," mostly because of the number of tweets and how harsh they were.
He added that even though SiriusXM gives them a lot of freedom on the air, "just the culture we live in, this doesn't feel right."
Hughes hoped that SiriusXM would just ride it out but had a gut feeling they would take some action. Yet neither he nor Norton were prepared for what the station did do.
"The thing started growing, and I'm sitting there just hoping, but I just knew in my gut. And then when I got the word from our agent that they fired Anthony, I was like 'What? … Why didn't they fire all of us?' Because our contracts are connected like that. … It puts us in an extremely strange position."
Hughes added that he was told that Sirius was "kind of even OK with the tweets in general."
"They weren't OK with the fact that there were so many of them," Hughes explained of Sirius' reaction to the tweets. "[They were] really bothered by the fact that there were so many of them— and bothered by there being violence associated with [the tweets]."
Still, Hughes doesn't think Sirius made the right decision.
"I absolutely do not believe that Anthony should have been fired. As harsh as the tweets were, as much as I had a gut feeling that this should've gone down. They should've rode it out," Hughes said.
Hughes went on to say that the new show, on a channel that's no longer called "The Opie & Anthony Channel" but "SiriusXM Talk," will be different.
"There's a huge part of me that's missing," Hughes said.
The two indicated, though, that they're only at Sirius XM through October, so it's possible that they may leave after their contracts end. Still, it's unlikely right now that they'll reteam with Cumia on the podcast he's setting up from his Long Island home, Hughes said, explaining that he's fairly confident Cumia wants to go that alone.
That said, Hughes added that he got the indication from one of the SiriusXM executives that "the door is not completely shut … just slightly open."
This article was first published by The Hollywood Reporter