Host pulled from the air after 'insulting' interview with young comic
TTT host Rishi Harrynanan (left), Comedian Carlon George (right)
A television host is facing backlash over his treatment of a guest who appeared on his morning talk show on Thursday.
Rishi Harrynanan, co-host of TTT's "Now" TV show, has been pulled from on-air until further notice.
Harrynanan came in for public ridicule after TTT aired the segment of his interview with up-and-coming comedian, Carlon George.
In the segment, Harrynanan made several comments about George's clothing, appearance and lack of comedic skill prompting George to question whether he was there for an interview or an attack.
George was also cut off abruptly while telling a joke and hurried off the set.
A clip of the interview circulated on social media on Thursday with hundreds of commenters weighing in, saying George was treated unprofessionally and humiliated on national TV.
"You invite the man on the show to embarrass him?" one commenter questioned.
Another person said:
"Instead of encouraging and uplifting a youth doing something positive and trying to make an honest dollar, you insulted him."
Others called for Harrynanan to resign.
Some commenters, including fellow comedian and social media personality Kimron Ramparas, defended Harrynanan saying he was simply "roasting" George.
Roasting is a form of comedy where a person is insulted and made fun of, for comedic purposes and is not meant to be taken seriously.
However, many felt that Harrynanan's comments towards George were mean-spirited and tasteless.
Harrynanan has since issued an apology to George both on the Now show on Friday and via social media.
On Facebook, he said:
"I'd like to publicly apologize to young comedian Carlon George. It was never my intention for it to come across that way and I sincerely apologize. I think Carlon is a brilliant young man who can go very far with his career. As a young person myself, I've always been an advocate for youth development and would like nothing better to see him succeed. Once again I apologize to you Carlon."
TTT has since removed the video from its Facebook page and issued an apology of its own.
"TTT would like to apologize to Comedian Carlon George. Our intention on the NOW Morning TV Show is always to uplift, making the incident on today's show particularly unfortunate. Carlon, we sincerely apologize for any embarrassment caused and we support your rise to stardom," the station said.