A White anchorwoman’s comments on Facebook have cost her a job. Wendy Bell, anchorwoman for WTAE in Pittsburgh, was angry over a disturbing ambush and shooting at a backyard barbecue that killed five people. Among the dead were a pregnant woman and her unborn child. The incident occurred on March 9, 2016, and police have not released any description of suspects. Despite this fact, Bell decided to add her opinion on the matter in a post to Facebook on March 21:
“You needn’t be a criminal profiler to draw a mental sketch of the killers who broke so many hearts two weeks ago Wednesday. They are young Black men, likely teens or in their early 20s. They have multiple siblings from multiple fathers and their mothers work multiple jobs. These boys have been in the system before. They’ve grown up there. They know the police. They’ve been arrested.”
Her comments created a firestorm in social media and led to her apologizing for rant earlier this week. Now she has been terminated by the parent company of the station Hearst Television. The company said her statements were “inconsistent with the company’s ethics and journalistic standard.”
Bell has won 21 regional Emmy awards and on Wednesday decried her treatment over her posts. Bell felt that she did not get a “fair shake from the station, and that the story was not about her, but about “African Americans being killed by other African Americans.”
Bell went on to state, “It makes me sick. What matters is what’s going on in America, and it is the death of black people in this country. … I live next to three war-torn communities in the city of Pittsburgh that I love dearly. My stories, they struck a nerve. They touched people, but it’s not enough. More needs to be done. The problem needs to be addressed.”
Some felt that Bell’s comments were not racist and applauded her attempt to stereotype young Black males. Facebook pages for and against Bell’s comments have been created in the wake of her termination.