Black meteorologist fired after defending her natural hair on Facebook (39991)

Black Meteorologist Rhonda A. Lee was reprimanded and then fired from her job at KTBS-TV, an ABC affiliate in Shreveport, Louisiana after responding to a viewer’s Facebook criticizing her natural hair.

on Oct. 1 Emmitt Vascocu posted:
“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. im not sure if she is a cancer patient. but still its not something myself that i think looks good on tv. what about letting someone a male have waist long hair do the news. what about that (cq).”
MeteorLee responded saying: Hello Emmitt-I am the ‘black lady’ to which you are referring. I’m sorry you don’t like my ethnic hair. And no I don’t have cancer. I’m a non-smoking, 5’3, 121 lbs, 25 mile a week running, 37.5 year old woman, and I’m in perfectly healthy physical condition.”
“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. 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. 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. Little girls (and boys for that matter) need to see that what you look like isn’t a reason to not achieve their goals.”
“Conforming to one standard isn’t what being American is about and I hope you can embrace that.”
“Thank you for your comment and have a great weekend and thank for watching.”
While Lee lost her job for the comment her response is being compared to that of Jennifer Livingston, a white morning anchor with WKBT-TV in La Crosse, Wis.. Livingston was called fat by a viewer in an email and responded with a on-air editorial address that lasted more than four minutes. Livingston was heroic and bold and various media outlets deemed the comment to be “bullying.”
“”This was a personal attack,” Livingston said in an interview about the incident on Good Morning America. “Calling me obese is one thing. Calling me a bad role model for our community that I’ve worked at for 15 years and especially for young girls when I have three girls was a low blow and I thought it was uncalled for and I wanted to call him out on it.”
After receiving much criticism about firing Lee, KTBS-TV released a statement on their Facebook page explaining that they dismissed two employeeds on November 8, one was a “white male” and confirming that the other was Rhonda Lee. “The policy they violated provided a specific procedure for responding to viewer comments on the official KTBS Facebook page…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.”