Meteorologist Loses Her Job After Responding to Natural Hair Comments

BY: - 13 Dec '12 | Natural Hair

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Rhonda Lee News 3

Negative comments on KTBS 3 News’ Facebook page led meteorologist, Rhonda Lee to respond. Though she spoke in a professional and positive manner, Lee lost her job shortly after.

On two separate occasions, Lee addressed negative comments on the Shreveport, Louisiana stations’ social media site. In the first instance in October, a viewer by the name of Emmitt Vascocu commented on “the black lady that does the news” suggesting she “wear a wig or grow some more hair” because he felt her natural hair did not look good on tv. To this, Lee responded by first identifying herself, then following up with an explanation of why she held pride in her hair and that young girls need to be comfortable in their skin and hair.

“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,” Lee wrote. “Women come in all shapes, sizes, nationalities, and levels of beauty. Showing little girls that being comfortable in the skin and HAIR God gave me is my contribution to society.”

The station, it seems, does not moderate the comments on the page and barely interacts with its readers and viewers. In November, Kenny Moreland wrote on the page’s wall bringing light to a segment on the annual “Three Minute Smile” program. Moreland wrote “Am I the only one that has noticed that this year, all the kids, lets say, are people of color? This is Channel 3, not KSLA, the ‘Project Pride’ network, that might as well be part of the BET Channel.”

Again, Lee took the liberty of politely clearing up any misconceptions by explaining that the kids are selected at random. However professional her responses were, the station found her comments in violation of an undocumented policy as reasoning behind her losing her position.

Read the original article and full comments on Sporty Afros’ website.

BMWK– Do you feel she had the right to respond to these comments? Was her firing justified?

About the author

Stacie Bailey wrote 160 articles on this blog.

Stacie Bailey is a graduate of Quinnipiac University with a master's degree in Interactive Communications. She has strong interests in youth, social media and an overall love for sharing knowledge and information.

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10 WordPress comments on “Meteorologist Loses Her Job After Responding to Natural Hair Comments

  1. Rosemary/ romanticmarriage.org

    Her comment about hair was polite and professional, the type of comment that the station should have been encouraging. The response to the comment about the children was a little edgier, but exactly what a sensible person would want to say under the circumstances. It is very strange that the station would allow viewers to post all kinds of ignorant and offensive comments while disallowing reasonable replied. They should be paying someone either to moderate comments or to set the record straight when people say stupid things. Firing this woman over those comments was idiotic.

    Reply
  2. Niambi

    I am appalled by this. All i can say is sue them Ms. Rhonda Lee for discrimination. I hope you get a huge pay out too!

    Reply
  3. Ms.Dia

    I am really floored! People just need to be nasty and cruel. Ms.Lee was very professional and polite. That news station needs to handle that before this fan/fb gets too out of hand.

    Reply
  4. Daysha

    She shouldn’t have commented, just ignore the comment by the ignorant person. No one made her comment, some companies will tell you automatically that if a customer/client is being disrespectful you do not say anything to them, you get a supervisor, samething here she should have reported the comment as offensive or ignored it, her comment may have been polite and professional, but she probably violated another part of company policy that is not the public’s business and is not required to tell people unless they are an employee. That comment can ruin ratings for that station, and if you are considered a threat to ratings you can and will be fired, the media is the only place where it can be openly discriminate and no amount of lawsuits can change that, unless your constitutional rights are violated. She should have kept her comment to herself. Yes I know all about the reporter who made public statement regarding her weight on the news when someone emailed her stating she needed to lose weight, and each station operates differently, it is at their discretion.

    Reply
  5. JoLoRo

    Emmitt Vascocu commented on “the black lady that does the news” suggesting she “wear a wig or grow some more hair” because he felt her natural hair did not look good on tv. To this, Lee responded by first identifying herself, then following up with an explanation of why she held pride in her hair and that young girls need to be comfortable in their skin and hair.
    Tell Emmitt to wear a mussle and then take a good look in the mirror and maybe put a wig on his/her head then write his story. He has no business trying to tell any one to wear a wig…therefore he could have kept his comment to himself. In addition, his comments should NOT have been printed simply because they were very judgmental…undocumented et al.

    As a result this topic stink so bad that it sounds like a complete set-up and the excuse is more sickening in the year 2012…folks still think they can talk about black women’s hair. Then what does the wig do that makes folk feel better? What is it about the wig that is OK and acceptable?? Why don’t everyone wear wigs if that is the acceptable hair doo??? I really don’t get it to be quite frank… SO EMMITT WEAR YOUR WIG AND SHUT YOUR MOUTH…OR TALK ABOUT SOMETHING MORE IMPORTANT!

    Reply
    1. stephanieb

      Exactly, it seems to be open season for picking on black women. If it isn’t our hair, it’s our attitude, the way we dress, etc. I, for one, am sick of it; we have to deal with it from white folks and now from some black men as well, and what have we done to deserve this??

      Reply
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