Charlamagne Tha God and Whoopi Goldberg both offered a defense for a Mississippi news anchor facing backlash for her choice of words on-air. The woman, WLBT’s Barbie Bassett, has not been on the air since she used the phrase “fo shizzle, my nizzle” while discussing Snoop Dogg’s wine venture.
On Monday’s (March 27) episode of The Breakfast Club, Charlamagne claimed the woman might have used the terminology while unaware of the meaning of the expression.
“That’s not a reason to fire that woman,” explained the 44-year-old. “She probably has no idea nizzle is a derivative of the N-word,” he added to which cohost DJ Envy responded “which is crazy.”
“She might not have any idea,” continued the Black Privilege author. “She just thinks she’s sounding cool repeating Snoop Dogg.”
Goldberg offered similar reasoning on Tuesday’s (March 28) episode of The View.
“There has to be a book of stuff that nobody could ever say, ever, ever, ever. Include everything,” said the 67-year-old, relating to Bassett’s experience. “Include everything because I tell you, the things that change, ‘You can say this, but you can’t say that, but next week you might not be able to say this,’ it’s hard to keep up.”
She continued, “Just because we’re on television, doesn’t mean we know everything. We don’t know everything you’re not supposed to do. If there is something someone says, if you’re not going to give them the opportunity to explain why they said it, at least give them the grace of saying, ‘You know what? I’ve just been informed that I should not have done that,’ as opposed to, ‘You’re out.'”
According to The Clarion Ledger, WLBT Vice President and General Manager Ted Fortenberry commented, “As I am sure you can understand, WLBT is unable to comment on personnel matters,” as Bassett’s profile no longer appears on the website. She has not appeared on the broadcast since March 8, 2023.
The outlet reported this is not the journalist’s first time making insensitive remarks. In October 2022, she was reprimanded after telling a Black woman reporter, Carmen Poe, to get a recipe from her “grandmammy.”