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Dec 12, 2012 4:52 PM by KATC

Rant: TV Weatherperson Fired after Responding to Facebook Comments about Her Hair

A meteorologist at a Shreveport television station has been fired after responding to Facebook comments about her hair. A viewer of KTBS posted the following to the station's Facebook page about meteorologist Rhonda Lee's hair:

"the black lady that does the news is a very nice lady.the only thing is she needs to wear a wig or grow some more hair. im not sure if she is a cancer patient. but still its not something myself that i think looks good on tv. what about letting someone a male have waist long hair do the news.what about that (cq)."

Lee responded to this post with the following comment:

"Hello Emmitt-I am the ‘black lady' to which you are referring. I'm sorry you don't like my ethnic hair. And no I don't have cancer. I'm a non-smoking, 5'3, 121 lbs, 25 mile a week running, 37.5 year old woman, and I'm in perfectly healthy physical condition.

"I am very proud of my African-American ancestry which includes my hair. For your edification: traditionally our hair doesn't grow downward. It grows upward. Many Black women use strong straightening agents in order to achieve a more European grade of hair and that is their choice. However in my case I don't find it necessary. I'm very proud of who I am and the standard of beauty I display. Women come in all shapes, sizes, nationalities, and levels of beauty. Showing little girls that being comfortable in the skin and HAIR God gave me is my contribution to society. Little girls (and boys for that matter) need to see that what you look like isn't a reason to not achieve their goals.

"Conforming to one standard isn't what being American is about and I hope you can embrace that.

"Thank you for your comment and have a great weekend and thank for watching."

KTBS released Lee after this comment was posted, citing a station policy forbidding talent from replying to viewer remarks on social media sites. Station management released this e-mail as proof Lee had been previously warned about the rule:

The Daily Kos reports that this is not the first time Lee has fended off online remarks that could be construed as racist. What do you think about this situation? Is Lee justified in defending herself, or is the KTBS justified in firing her? E-mail hoyt.harris@katctv.com or comment on the Rant Facebook page to have your views heard.

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