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Thursday, December 13, 2012

Don't tease a fat white woman, however black woman with natural hair is fair game

Remember Wisconsin news anchor Jennifer Livingston?

She had every right to stand up for herself and tell her "bully" to leave her alone. After all, when someone has the microphone, you shouldn't call them names.
Everyone -- for the most part-- was on Livingston's side. Cheered her courage. Watched her on the morning talk shows, read about her on the Huffington Post. And if you live in Wisconsin, you're still watching her on TV as well.

Now, let's look at this situation with Rhonda Lee in Louisiana.

Lee has a short afro and someone made racially offensive comments about it on Facebook. Lee responded. Lee got fired. Here's what the Huffington Post says:

Lee was terminated from her position at KTBS 3 News, an ABC affiliate in Shreveport, La., after responding to racially charged remarks about her short natural hairstyle. The exchange between Lee and a KTBS viewer happened back in October on KTBS 3 News’ Facebook page, where a viewer, Emmitt Vascocu, posted a comment that referred to Lee as the "black lady that does the news" and suggested that she should "wear a wig or grown some more hair." Lee responded to Vascocu's comment at length on the Facebook thread, saying, "I’m sorry you don’t like my ethnic hair. And no I don’t have cancer," Lee wrote. "I am very proud of my African-American ancestry which includes my hair. For your edification: traditionally our hair doesn’t grow downward. It grows upward."

Both of these women had ever right to say what they said. The difference is the station management responses.
Livingston got the backing of management, who obviously thought that standing with their employee was good for business.
Lee got the boot for a policy that --at the time wasn't in writing.

On November 28, 2012, KTBS dismissed two employees for repeated violation of the station’s written procedure. We can confirm that Rhonda Lee was one of the employees. Another employee was a white male reporter who was an eight year veteran of the station. The policy they violated provided a specific procedure for responding to viewer comments on the official KTBS Facebook page. Included is an email that was sent to all news department employees informing them of this procedure. This procedure is based on advice from national experts and commonly used by national broadcast and cable networks and local television stations across the country. Unfortunately, television personalities have long been subject to harsh criticism and negative viewer comments about their appearance and performance. If harsh viewer comments are posted on the station’s official website, there is a specific procedure to follow. Ms. Rhonda Lee was let go for repeatedly violating that procedure and after being warned multiple times of the consequences if her behavior continued. Rhonda Lee was not dismissed for her appearance or defending her appearance. She was fired for continuing to violate company procedure.
However, Lee told CNN when she asked to see the policy, she was told no. This statement from the station is some straight CYA(cover your ass).
Lee has a lawsuit. Media companies don't like bad publicity or losing them. I'm sure Lee would win this case.
I also hope Carol's Daughter gives her a job. 

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