NBC Sports Network announced its decision to cancel the NRA-sponsored TV series, Under Wild Skies, after host Tony Makris compared his critics to Hitler.
Last week, the show featured Makris on a hunting expedition in Botswana where he shot an elephant twice in the face from about 20 feet away, not killing it, and proceeded to follow the fleeing animal to shoot it again, this time, ending its life.
Afterwards, the hunting party sipped champagne and one hunter commented on the pleasure of shooting an elephant and bringing its ivory back to harvest.
The show immediately incited a great deal of controversy, given that elephant populations worldwide are currently threatened and greatly declining. In Botswana, extreme declines led to the decision that hunting elephants will become completely illegal. The all-out ban doesn’t go into effect for another 3 months, however.
Ignoring the fact that ivory poaching is pushing the species to the brink of extinction, Makris defended his actions and likened his critics to Hitler. Makris argued that the only reason shooting an elephant created controversy, as opposed to shooting another animal, is because animal activists think elephants are “kind and smart.”
He called this idea a “unique form of animal racism” and said it was exactly how Hitler would have responded.
Fortunately, NBC Sports did not take Makris’ Hitler comment lightly, rightly calling it “outrageous and unacceptable.”
An NBC spokesman told Deadspin that the show would “no longer air on NBC Sports Network due to the program’s close association with its host, whose recent comments comparing his critics to Hitler are outrageous and unacceptable.”