he news that Louisiana television station KTBS fired meteorologist Rhonda Lee is getting a lot of folks … well, fired up. Twitter is ablaze with outraged comments like “KTBS owes Rhonda Lee an apology & shld [sic] give her back her job!” and “sistah just can’t win!!! Meteorologist fired for responding to ignorant posts.” Online petitions are also starting to pop up in support of Lee.
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.”
In the end, Vascocu apologized to Lee via Facebook and reportedly called KTBS’s station manager to express his regret as well.
However, in the wake of all the publicity surrounding Lee’s firing, KTBS has issued a statement making it clear that they do not typically comment on personnel matters, but felt that due to the interest surrounding the issue, it has decided to speak out.
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