Jemele Hill Says Jamie Foxx Walking Out After Katie Holmes Question Was Bizarre
I don’t know if you’ve noticed but Michael Smith and Jemele Hill are more than just coworkers. They ride for each other. You’ll remember that when ESPN suspended Hill for her comments about Trump and boycotting the Dallas Cowboys, as a sign of solidarity, Smith also sat out from their show. It was a beautiful display of unity against the network that many believed was treating Hill unfairly.
So, you already know that if sh*t ever hits the fan, Hill is going to have his back in return. And while I won’t say things got that out of hand, they were certainly made awkward when Smith, in an interview with Jamie Foxx, suggested that he and Katie Holmes, his reported and likely official girlfriend had recreated a “Love and Basketball” moment for Valentine’s Day.
It seemed like the instant Jamie heard Katie’s name, he snatched the headphones and microphone off, hopped off the chair and went back to the court.
I have to admit that my perception of the incident changed once I learned it was Michael Smith who was asking the question.
When TMZ caught up with Jemele Hill, they asked her what she made of the situation. And after praising Jamie for his cultural contributions, she said she thought the move made her friend look bad.
“Personally, I like Jamie a lot. He’s one of my favorite entertainers but I thought he unnecessarily made Mike look bad. I thought it was kind of bizarre that he acted that way. We both have a lot of respect for Jamie, I certainly do. I thought it was kind of bizarre why he acted that way. I thought it was pretty public and that everybody knew.”
When the TMZ reporter asked Hill if she would have asked the same question, she said:
“I would have never known not to. It was just a joke, it wasn’t actually about Katie Holmes.”
I definitely see where Hill is coming from. While I don’t know if it was Jamie’s intent to make Smith look bad or embarrass him on the job, standing up and walking out in the middle of an interview gives the impression that the journalist did something inappropriate. And I think we can all agree that Smith didn’t do that. Like Hill said, with years of rumors and more than a handful of pictures of these two in undeniably romantic settings, it’s common knowledge that they’re a couple.
The situation becomes even more layered when you consider that Smith’s relationship with ESPN might be on the rocks right now, since he’s come out publicly and spoken about the ways he felt the network tried to silence both himself and Hill by eliminating their interaction with one another on screen.
On the podcast Origins, Smith said:
“There was a time we weren’t even talking to each other [on air] anymore. Like no more Michael and Jemele, not less, not here and there. No more Michael and Jemele talking. No more of their commentary. It’s just strictly live shots and analysts. That’s what pissed me off so much. I’m like, so wait a second, you all acknowledge that one of the strengths that we have going for us as a show is Michael and Jemele’s chemistry, but Michael and Jemele don’t f–king talk to each other? How does that make sense? It was very frustrating,” Smith added, “behind the scenes and on camera. … They got what they wanted, which was Michael and Jemele being muted. And that frustrated the s–t out of us.”
I would hate to see them use this type of ridiculous incident as ammunition against him. We’ve seen that ESPN has a history out of punishing their employees for saying what we all know to be true.
You can watch Hill’s brief interview in the video below.