Meteorologist Fired After Response To Facebook Hair Post


VIBE / December 13, 2012

Rhonda A. Lee was reportedly fired from her meteorologist position at KTBS 3 News after replying to a Facebook post a viewer typed discussing her hair texture and style.

A portion of the Oct. 1 post written by Emmitt Vascocu read “the black lady that does the news is a very nice lady. The only thing is she needs to wear a wig or grow some more hair.” She also stated, “I’m not sure if she is a cancer patient.”

Emmitt later received a response from Lee that changed the course of her career. After saying that she is the “black lady” on the news broadcast and isn’t terminally ill, Lee responded, “Many Black women use strong straightening agents in order to achieve a more European grade of hair and that is their choice. However in my case I don’t find it necessary. I’m very proud of who I am and the standard of beauty I display.”

Vascocu then replied he isn’t a racist person but fired this controversial comment back, “…this world has…certain standerd (sic). If you’ve come from a world of being poor are you going to dress in rags?”

The ABC affiliate station in Shreveport, La. that Lee reported on couldn’t “reference a documented rule that Ms. Lee was in violation of,” according to Clutch. “They told me the policy I violated isn’t written down, but was mentioned in a newsroom meeting about a month-and-a-half prior. A meeting I didn’t attend,” Lee said. “So when I asked what rule did I break there isn’t anything to point to.” That policy being the prevention of responding to viewer’s comments on social media sites, one she was unaware of.

Lee expressed to CNN’s Soledad O’Brien that she feels she is being unfairly “punished” for her actions.

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