KTBS-TV: Give Rhonda Lee her job back ASAP!
  • Petitioned George Sirven

This petition was delivered to:

KTBS-TV
George Sirven
Community Affairs, KTBS-TV
Jan Elkins
Operations Manager, KTBS-TV
Trey Lankford
KTBS-TV
KTBS-TV

KTBS-TV: Give Rhonda Lee her job back ASAP!

    1. Claudia Zayas
    2. Petition by

      Claudia Zayas

      Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic

A female meteorologist, Rhonda Lee, has been fired from the ABC affiliate in Shreveport, Louisiana (KTBS-TV) because she responded to a racial remark posted by a viewer on the station's Facebook page.

In October, a viewer posted an offensive remark about Lee and her appearance on KTBS’s Facebook page. The comment included: "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” [sic].

After the comment was left on the station’s page for days without any response or moderation and after Lee claims the station refused to offer a reply to the comment at her request, Lee wrote a thoughtful and respectful response. In her comment, Lee stated, “I am the 'black lady' to which you are referring... I am very proud of my African-American ancestry which includes my hair... 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.”

In November, Lee responded to a comment on KTBS’ Facebook page from a viewer complaining about a segment that feature predominantly children of color to clarify that “the children are picked at random.” She added: “I would like to think it doesn't matter who the child is.”

KTBS has stated that Lee was fired for allegedly violating a social media policy for staff members. However, Lee said that in a meeting with her supervisors, they told her the policy she violated “isn't written down, but was mentioned in a newsroom meeting (a meeting she did not attend) about a month-and-a-half prior.” Lee also claims, “There isn't anything in our employee manual talking about social media dos and don'ts.”

Lee said that initially she was told that she would be having a discussion with the station’s managers about clarifying the social media policy, but instead, allegedly without any discussion, Lee was terminated.

As a mom, I worry that actions by employers like this give girls the idea that they have to conform to a certain look to be successful. One day my daughter will want to wear her hair natural -- or maybe not -- but I want it to be her choice not her peer's. If we allow this to go on where will it stop? I want my daughter to be inspired by woman like Lee who achieve success in their fields and stand up for themselves and others.

Please join me in asking KTBS to stand with their meteorologist and return Rhonda Lee to her job.

To:
George Sirven, KTBS-TV
Jan Elkins, Community Affairs, KTBS-TV
Trey Lankford, Operations Manager, KTBS-TV
KTBS-TV, KTBS-TV
Give Rhonda Lee her job back ASAP!

Sincerely,
[Your name]

Recent signatures

    News

    1. Petition to KTBS sponsors

      Claudia Zayas
      Petition Organizer

      This petition is to get the attention of KTBS sponsors about this situation... Please sign it and spread the word...
      Thank you all for your support...

      "Sponsors of KTBS 3 News: Combat racism! Withdraw support for the station!"

      African American meteorologist Rhonda Lee lost her job at KTBS 3 News after responding to a racially charged comment about her hair on facebook. The...

    2. Reached 100,000 signatures
    3. Apparently KTBS has contradicted themselves once more...

      Claudia Zayas
      Petition Organizer

      The following image was taken from yahoo, where one of the white anchors was caught defending the winners of a contest, who happened to be all black, but selected at random. This person was not fired.

      http://l2.yimg.com/bt/api/res/1.2/YVMmtVIEIDDEdk8e67iQGg--/YXBwaWQ9eW5ld3M7cT04NTt3PTMxMA--/http://media.zenfs.com/en-US/blogs/partner/470_2556989.jpg

      Source: http://shine.yahoo.com/work-money/ktbs-crime-reporter-chris-redford-fired-defending-himself-205300009.html

      Thanks to M.W. for the heads up :)

    4. Reached 10,000 signatures
    5. Other petitions

      Claudia Zayas
      Petition Organizer

      Together we are stronger!
      Hey guys, there is another petition for Rhonda Lee, here is the link
      http://www.causes.com/actions/1714107

      KTBS-TV Rehire Rhonda Lee

      Sign this petition to show KTBS and other televisions stations that women should not be silenced and reprimanded when they speak out about making the choice to wear their hair in a neat and attractive manner of their choosing. Women of color in general are expected to confirm to unfair and unrealistic standards of beauty that are outdated and sexist.

    6. Reached 7,000 signatures
    7. Disturbing news

      Claudia Zayas
      Petition Organizer

      I just found out the station not only didn't delete the offending comment but they also liked it on their fb page, meaning they violated the same "policy" they accused Rhonda Lee of breaking and fired her for

      http://i.imgur.com/Buxad.png

    8. Email from KTBS to Rhonda Lee

      Claudia Zayas
      Petition Organizer

      http://i.imgur.com/Eo6X3.jpg

      I dont know what you guys think but to me this sounds as a suggestion, as the email itself states, NOT a policy...

    9. Reached 1,000 signatures

    Supporters

    Reasons for signing

    • Brenda Lockett TEXARKAN, TX
      • 5 months ago

      This is important to me because Rhonda Lee could be my daughter. She is a beautiful, professional young woman. She should have every right to respond to such comments, especially since she responded respectfully and truthfully. My daughter just got her PH.D, she is dark like me and she has beautiful long dreadlocks. It would be a travesty if she was judged in a negative way for being a beautiful young woman with African-American features. Thankfully, she got hired at a Major University who hired her for her education and her abilities!

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • kecia saunders RICHMOND, VA
      • 6 months ago

      Its dead ass wrong !

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • Scott Henderson BENTON, LA
      • 6 months ago

      if the story printed here is correct the I see her firing as unjustified. Where is freedom of speech? Can you not express a well though opinion that is non offensive simply because she works at KTBS. Im shocked and appalled at this.

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • ruby jerry SHREVEPORT, LA
      • 6 months ago

      Because Lee did what we as parents do teach our children how to speak up for what's right. Don't worry Lee there are more news stations that would love to have you onboard. This one just lost my attention

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • Carvett Brossett BOSSIER, LA
      • 7 months ago

      This is important to me because I am an African American female and I support Rhonda's decision to respond to the comment. She was very tasteful and respectful. She just spoke for what she felt and that's what a lot more of us need to do in order to get the word out that we're not going to stand by and just take certain things. The station should have stood by her and had her back as well.

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:

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