TV weatherman fired after uttering racial slur on air


#1

Originally published at: https://boingboing.net/2019/01/08/tv-weatherman-fired-after-utte.html


#2

The way the words just rolled off his tongue makes it sound like he’s been saying it around the news room comfortably for a while now.

Racists should never be that comfortable.


#3

All of us have had a word slip before (racial, vulgar, etc). One is enough to get you fired in some workplaces I suppose. I trust in this case it was more than just a true one time slip and perhaps there was more to it that we do not see.


#4

This does sound like a slip of the tongue to me. The vowel from [lu] got carried into the syllable [kIN]. That is a kind of the slip of the tongue that happens.


#5

I can’t hear a word on the video at all, but I’m sure it’s shocking.

I’m with the above. If it’s something that never happened before, then say “oops” and carry on. Either he has a bad history, or somebody in management wanted him gone for other reasons.


#6

I heard this racist reference used often in the Military, then we got a Black ships captain. Stunningly it suddenly disappeared from use…


#7

Weather forecasters are allowed to make enough mistakes as it is (daily?)

Whether a “word jumble” or his true feelings, speaking well is part of the job description for being on TV. See-ya: there are plenty of qualified people ready to take your place!


#8

That “apology” is something else. Literally.

During my TV news career I remember one personality getting immediately suspended without pay for 6 months over a misogynist slur on-air. He was an old guy from the era when that kind of term was acceptable, and his slip might have been the first sign of dementia that caused him to retire a few years later.

He got a lot of support from sexist old men in the audience when the suspension was announced. To his credit, though, he understood and accepted that he’d done something wrong, took his suspension without complaint, and issued a genuine and thoughtful on-air apology afterwards (which got us more calls from sexist old men yelling about how we’d “forced” him to make the statement).


#9

Reminds me of:

" > I rule out that it was an innocent mispronunciation. I turned to my own expert, my mother, who reports that in 59 years of marriage, no one ever introduced her as Elsie Fag.

This was in response to then-House Majority Leader Dick Armey’s claim that referring to Frank as “Barney Fag” during a press event was nothing more than “trouble with alliteration.” Frank was the first openly gay member of Congress."

So - where does one go after bombing out of the Rochester media market? Whitefish?


#10

Also:

https://www.businessinsider.com/news-reporter-accidentally-draws-penis-on-map-2013-7

And for good measure:

ETA: One more:


#11

Maybe I’m crazy, but it sounds like he tried to say “King” and “Junior” at the same time. While I’m not a person who makes a living talking on live news, I sometimes merge my words like this to embarrassing results.


#12

I could believe this was just a very unfortunate mistake. One thing that can happen in life is that you can face severe consequences for very unfortunate mistakes.

If he’d done better with his apology and if he’d had coworkers and management who felt he was great at his job and that this was so out of character that he couldn’t have possibly meant to do it then he probably would have stayed on.


#13

Based on my own experience in the business, I agree. It doesn’t sound like he had a lot of friends in that newsroom or in management, and you need those if you make a mistake like this.


#14

What if management is in the habit of throwing more people under a bus when they try to stand up for someone else?


#15

I had a brief stint working in a news room and was always impressed when the “talent” would switch from normal speak to news speak. Professionals everyone of them. They get paid to speak clearly. That’s what they do.

He f’d up.


#16

Pretty sure I have literally never in my life “slipped” a racial slur into my speech.


#17

He had ONE JOB. To deliver a weather forecast. I have heard the name “Martin Luther King, Junior” thousands of times in my life. I have never heard it mangled to include “coon” in it, adjacent to it, or anywhere in the same sentence.


#18

I’ve never misspoke and used a racial slur, but I’ve definitely mixed my words up in a way that could have insulted the person I was talking to. Hasn’t everyone done that at some point?

Even if he were a racist, there’s no way he intentionally said that on air. He misspoke, and his life is being destroyed by pure speculation on is inner thoughts, while intentional, overt racism is being overlooked.


#19

C’mon. This sounds like an extremely easy error to make when speaking quickly, no matter how “professional” one is. These “professional” newsreaders make errors and mispronounce things all the time. It seems like we get a story about some kind of accidental newsreader mispronunciation on BoingBoing about once a month. And then piling on based on the theory that his coworkers or management must not like him very much (with or without the unstated assumption that it’s because he’s probably racist) or he’d still be there? Assumes facts not in evidence.


#20

But if he’s said “Martin Luther Coon” many times before, he has muscle memory of doing so.