Ex-News Anchor Files Suit Against Network for Firing Her Over ‘Young Black Men’ Comment


Screen Shot 2016-03-31 at 10.23.38 AMYou may recall that back in March, we reported on the Pittsburgh news station WTAE fired anchor Wendy Bell over a comment she made on Facebook.

At the time, authorities had been looking for gunmen who opened fire on a barbecue. No details had been released about what the gunmen looked like, but Bell wrote, “They are young black men, likely teens or in their early 20s.”

The post got her fired, the network reportedly saw a ratings drop, Bell complained she wasn’t given a “fair shake,” and now she’s going after WTAE.

According to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Bell has filed a lawsuit demanding she get her job back, back pay, and that the network’s parent company is kept from retaliating against her.

She claims that she was fired without cause and that she was unfairly singled out:

According to the lawsuit, it wasn’t until March 30, the same day as a meeting with the Pittsburgh Black Media Federation to discuss Ms. Bell and issues of racial diversity, that she was terminated. She was told that her comments on the Facebook page were “inconsistent with the company’s ethics and journalistic standards.”

The lawsuit also alleges that Hearst previously chose to ignore behaviors by two other high-profile on-camera personalities at WTAE, including one who made lewd comments to interns, causing the program to end and another who was arrested for propositioning an undercover police officer.

She’s also suing on grounds of racial discrimination.

[image via Twitter]

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Josh Feldman is a Senior Editor at Mediaite. Email him here: josh@mediaite.com Follow him on Twitter: @feldmaniac