What's Happening In Your World

Meteorologist Rhonda Lee Fired For Responding to Racist Facebook Comments

KTBS-TV meteorologist Rhonda Lee lost her job after engaging a racist viewer on Facebook. It all started when the viewer commented that all of kids who won an annual toy giveaway “are people of color,” and accused the station of “racism.”

Lee says she responded to the viewer and her response cost her her job, even though she didn’t violate any written policy of the station. When she inquired about the policy, she was told it was passed down at a staff meeting which she did not attend.

It all began on November 14, when a KTBS viewer named Kenny Moreland, whose Facebook profile picture is of  Buckwheat character, along with the caption,  “Buckwheat Say: O-Tay,” posted a comment on the station’s Facebook page, about KTBS’ annual “Three Minute Smile” contest, which gives winners a 3-minute shopping spree at a  WalMart store:

Not to start any trouble, because I think that the annual “Three Minute Smile” is a great function and I love to see kids so happy. 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. Did KTBS slip up on a news story, and owe S’port’s criminal mayor Cedric, a favor? Seems like some racism going on to me. Just saying…..

Moreland was obvioulsy trying to start trouble because he’d left a similar comment earlier in the day:

Has anybody else noticed that this years “3 minute smile” contestants are all of the same race? I thought this was Channel 3, and not KSLA the “Project Pride” network. Looks like racism to me. Not to put it down… I think it’s great for the little kids to get such a chance, but come on….. Are Ya’ll on Cedric Glover’s secret payroll now?

Ms. Lee responded to the comment:

 I’m not sure I understand your comment. “…this is Channel 3 not KSLA…” What are you trying to say?

The children are picked at random. So there goes your theory that they are selected for their color. I would like to think that it doesn’t matter who the child is. If you truly just want to see the kids happy your message had a funny way of showing it.

Happy holidays. –Met. Rhonda Lee

Lee had also responded to a Facebook comment from a reader who was critical of her hair (and remarkably, that comment got a “like” from KTBS-TV).

And although Ms. Lee’s comments were innocuous, the station fired her and left the comments of the racist Mr. Moreland up on the station’s Facebook page. Funny enough, it was Ms. Lee who alerted the station to the racist comments on the station’s Facebook page, thinking that they’d just delete them. Instead, they fired Ms. Lee, thus taking sides with the racist.


* Email
 First Name
 Last Name
  * = Required Field
 
Email Marketing You Can Trust

34 comments

  1. A purported station release said Lee violated the rule a lot of times despite being warned a lot of times.I want the station to tell us what Lee should have done re responding to this racist and I want that answer now because Lee has the right to defend herself.

  2. A purported station release said Lee violated the rule a lot of times despite being warned a lot of times.I want the station to tell us what Lee should have done re responding to this racist and I want that answer now because Lee has the right to defend herself.

  3. A purported station release said Lee violated the rule a lot of times despite being warned a lot of times.I want the station to tell us what Lee should have done re responding to this racist and I want that answer now because Lee has the right to defend herself.

  4. Now is the time to get paid take advanage of it.

  5. Now is the time to get paid take advanage of it.

  6. She needs to contact human resources for this one, for there appears to be no grounds for dismissal…..

  7. Whomever made the decision to fire this woman is an idiot. People are so w orried about backlash that they refuse to do what they know is right. It almost 2013…get with the program. People of color are people too! Sorry to dissappoint you Romnesians.

  8. This is what happens when you love your job (company) and not your paycheck…

    This is what happens when you believe in the perverted catholic…

    The goal is to get a job, know that you will be fired, and save your money…instead, we try act like the perverted catholic…

    She should have done nothing because it is not her company or her job to adminster the companies FaceBook.com page…let the company read the post and decide to take action…

    My company has a FB page, I do not care about it, will not post to it…and definitely will not join it…they have the right to do as they please, just like I do…

    This is the actions of your “typical white male, perverted catholic”…and black folks are too busy tryng to be just like him…

    The proof is in all of this GAY/LESBO shyt…and other things taking place in this country…

    Whatever happen to the 1950’s bouycott? when black folks worked together and could not be separated/divided and conquered?

    Pretty soon, you will be hearing about meth all up in black neighborhoods because these people want to be like the perverted catholic…

    Black folks will go to their grave defending the perverted catholic “ZEUS/JEUS/JESUS”…

  9. I hate to say it , but she should have known better to engage someone . Unfortunately her responses should have been vetted through her public affairs office unless she has some authority to respond . Remember she is representing the station . I suspect they wanted to get rid of her anyway and this was a window of opportunity to achieve that end

  10. Her response was absolutely nothing to get fired over. The only thing these folks understand is their bank book, I suggest you hit them where their understanding is…their bank book!

  11. Why respond to an idiot?

  12. For all people of color who believe racism is a psychotic mental state of the 1960's, here's another current examlple. I have much respect for a woman of color who wears her own hair and short too…. A beautiful sister of substance and pride.

  13. …someone at the station probably posted it to her…this is a set up…

  14. This is ridiculous. What “repeated violations”? And why shouldn’t she respond to the accusation? This is also a matter of worker rights. Even newscasters need a union.

    • If she could do it over again she would probably NOT respond at all to the racist prick or she would not identify herself as a station employee.

  15. She didn't have to resort to stooping to the level of some trailer trash Neanderthal. Sometimes, the smartest thing someone can say is nothing!
    http://beyond-politics.hubpages.com/hub/5thingsblackandwhitepeopledo

  16. This is exactly why I do not watch NBC! They obviously do not see us as important to their bottom line. Don't watch them and do not support their sponsors. Bottom Line. If you don't stand for something you will fall for anything!

  17. This is exactly why I do not watch NBC! They obviously do not see us as important to their bottom line. Don't watch them and do not support their sponsors. Bottom Line. If you don't stand for something you will fall for anything!

  18. Iam so sick of caucasions complaining and compairing, after all the advantages and perks that they have in the world, they still are not satisfied.they are on all the game shows that win you money, they hit all the lottery winnings, they have first preference to housing, cars, living locations, money loans, even Oprah Winphrey gives them every thing. damn! how much more do you want? I wish every caucasion could live in a african americans life a month, just to see how one sided and unfair life is to blacks! STOP BEING GREEDY.

  19. I'd like to know what the proceedure is "Get Lawyer".

  20. Bretaina Brigham Awholelotofwomen

    Smh it gets really old…my question I'm always asking what are these white people mad at? The new generation of them,are just following a trend, weren't even born around slavery they jus mad cause….smdh

  21. GIVE HER BACK HER JOBBBBB! That is so not fair :(

  22. Just another reason to get rid of a woman of color, sue I say. To many people let things like this go, hit them where it's going to hurt that bank account. And they will think next time when they try to do that or runs across their minds. That's what lawyers get paid for.

  23. She didn’t violate any written policy of the station. KTBS sould like a sad station to work at, I think she should sue that station!

  24. After she told her supervisor about the racist message, do you know if the supervisor told her not to respond to his message?

    After reading her response to the racist message, I for one didn't see anything that would justify firing her over a suspension or written warning. Something is missing in this story because it definitely makes no sense…

    • Here is the official KTBS response on their Facebook page to Ms. Lee's firing:

      Typically this station does not comment on personnel matters, but due to the publicity and interest about this issue, the station has included the following statement.
      On November 28, 2012, KTBS dismissed two employees for repeated violation of the station’s written procedure. We can confirm that Rhonda Lee was one of the employees. Another employee was a white male reporter who was an eight year veteran of the station. The policy they violated provided a specific procedure for responding to viewer comments on the official KTBS Facebook page. Included is an email that was sent to all news department employees informing them of this procedure. This procedure is based on advice from national experts and commonly used by national broadcast and cable networks and local television stations across the country.

      Unfortunately, television personalities have long been subject to harsh criticism and negative viewer comments about their appearance and performance. If harsh viewer comments are posted on the station’s official website, there is a specific procedure to follow.

      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.

    • I understand policy but how does the station respond to racists comments directed at your employee? Do you have a "no tolerance" policy? Or do you just ignore the negative comments?

    • This is ridiculous and not just a matter of racism (although it is that too); it's also a matter of worker rights. Even newscasters need a union!

    • I bet the person who sent the message is dancing in his trailer. Oh! Is that Racist? Don't want to offend your core audience.

    • I bet the person who sent the message is dancing in his trailer. Oh! Is that Racist? Don't want to offend your core audience.

  25. This is some bullshit. I hope she get compensation for wrongful termination to the point she won't have to work for any of those racist son of a bitches . Rhonda Lee I wish you the best

  26. Things seem to never change. Your damned if you, your damned if you don't.

* Email
 First Name
 Last Name
  * = Required Field
 
Email Marketing You Can Trust
Get Your Free Copy of the Black American Money Ebook
Get It Now