Arkansas’ KATV anchor Chris Might and meteorologist Barry Brandt are being confronted with backlash from viewers after the 2 wore Afro wigs to have fun temperatures dropping into the 70s following a blistering weeks-long heatwave.
After the broadcasters wore the African American-style hairpieces in the course of the night climate report that aired on September 16, the station suspended the two white information anchors and fired their boss.
“Swift action was important to hold the responsible parties accountable,” a spokesperson informed AdWeek.
In accordance to the Arkansas Occasions, Might and Brandt wore wigs impressed by Afros, throughout the information section half “return to the 70s.”
Might later revealed a controversial cosplay photograph on Twitter, which has since been eliminated.
The uncomfortable forecast attracted the consideration of African American activist Dr. Anika Whitfield, who filed a criticism with WATV, alleging that having a “European American man” put on an Afro wig was a continuance of “systemic racism.”
Whitfield contacted John Seabers, a Sinclair Broadcast Group vice president and group supervisor in cost of native stations in Arkansas, Texas, and Oklahoma, after receiving no reply.
He issued the next apology: “We apologize to all viewers who were rightfully offended by the segment, and we promise to enact and enforce new measures to prevent future incidents from occurring.”
In accordance to the Every day Mail, Might and Brandt, who have labored at the station for extra than 20 years, have been suspended indefinitely by Sinclair.
Nick Genty, Sinclair Broadcast Group’s longstanding information director, was additionally fired.
Seabers described the cultural Afro-priation as “abhorrent” and “juvenile,” noting that the staff had gone by six weeks of racial sensitivity coaching earlier than the episode.
In accordance to Arkansas Enterprise, Dorothy Tucker, president of the Nationwide Affiliation of Black Journalists, the incident occurred after one other horrific incident in which a “Mammy doll” was left in the KATV welcome a new black anchor. She posted a photograph of the doll, which had the stereotypical handkerchief head, on Twitter.
KATV has since pledged to implement “further training for sensitivity and workplace conduct, in line with our commitment to ensuring events like this don’t happen again,” the spokesperson stated.
KATV is working to improve the quantity of African Individuals on its reporting crew, in accordance to Labbe.
One commenter on the Arkansas Occasions web site wrote, “Good grief. As evidenced by all the comments here there were tens of thousands of white guys with ugly Afros in the 70s and 80s. She had to lean way over to get hit by the pitch. I can’t believe they apologized.”
“I’m African American and I saw the weather report with the wigs,” added one other gawker on Arkansas Enterprise. “I really didn’t think too much about it. Everything is not racism. There were white men in the 70’s who wore Afros just like blacks. I think sometimes we go overboard. It’s a shame someone had to lose their job over this.”