Desus Nice and The Kid Mero officially announced their leave from Viceland for Showtime earlier this year. With Showtime, the comedic duo will create the network’s first-ever weekly late-night talk show. But Vice CEO Nancy Dubuc is being downright petty and wrong when it comes to her network’s former stars.
In an, Elle interview, Dubuc decides to insult the Bodega Boys and their audience.
“They’re going to a platform that their audience doesn’t pay for,” she said. “I told them, ‘You can always come back.'”
It’s a weird statement to make, so much so that I had to double check to make sure I wasn’t missing something. Yes, Showtime is a premium cable network. But Viceland isn’t that far behind; it’s a station that isn’t one that every home, much less every cable provider, has. Even though loyal fans of Desus and Mero would have to shell out some money, Showtime is is a network that’s actually a household name where popular shows like Lena Waithe’s The Chi have thrived; if anything, the duo stands to make even more fans thanks to their move from Viceland.
The statement also seems to assume that Desus and Mero fans won’t pay more or don’t have enough money to pay for an extra channel. Seeing how a lot of Desus and Mero’s fans look like Desus and Mero–i.e., they are Black and Latinx–Dubuc’s statement sounds like it’s got some serious racial undertones. This will only make Bodega Boys’ fans even happier that their beloved duo is out from under Viceland’s thumb.
This type of freedom is something the duo alluded to in a Vibe interview, in which they talk about Vice cutting their contract two months early after the duo went public about their new Showtime deal. The duo said that the reason they wanted to leave Vice was because the network was demanding too much of them with not enough compensation.
“We were carrying that network on our back, and we felt the weight,” said Desus. “They were talking about, ‘Do not take the weeks off because we don’t get ratings,’ and it’s like, ‘Yo, we’re just two people.'” He also said that Vice “wanted us to die for this f*cking network” while underappreciating them.
Mero told Vibe they were “the LeBron of that network,” adding, “As a dad, you wanna be around for milestones, for like graduations, birthdays…and it’s obnoxious to have to be like, ‘I can’t go to my kid’s graduation because we leave the studio at 3 o’clock and the graduation is at 4.'”
Desus and Mero’s Showtime series will premiere on February 21 at 11 p.m. ET.