Former Mississippi News Anchor Claims News Station Fired Her After Giving Birth And Embracing Her Natural Hair
She was told her natural hair was unprofessional.
A journalist terminated from a local news station claimed the station banned her natural hair and racially discriminated against her while on the job.
Former WJTV This Morning co-anchor Brittany Noble-Jones wrote in a detailed Medium post about her time working for the Mississippi news station.
Yahoo Lifestyle reports Noble-Jones claimed she was pushed out of the company when station executives found out she was pregnant. Stories she pitched were often passed over; her natural hair became an issue, and she was often subjected to racial discrimination.
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In 2015, the anchor from St. Louis was hired to co-anchor the morning news program. Everything seemed fine until she received criticism for a March 2016 promo.
The station boss reportedly told her she was full of herself, but Noble-Jones received no other examples of what she did wrong. Then, her story pitches were denied at an abnormal rate; she began to be treated differently than her colleagues and was not allowed to attend events.
While speaking to Yahoo Lifestyle, the 32-year-old explained that she initially neglected to tell her bosses she was pregnant. Three months into her pregnancy, Noble-Jones finally made the announcement.
"After announcing that I was pregnant, I was no longer included in commercials," she wrote on Medium. "I felt the need to starve myself to fit in. I now weigh only 108 pounds. I did eat while I was pregnant and while carrying my son and postpartum. I wasn't allowed to represent the station and my events were given away to another white reporter."
The station allegedly did not give her breaks to pump milk once returning to work.
Noble-Jones also decided not to wear a wig and embrace her natural hair to inspire young Black girls to follow suit. However, her natural hair was called unprofessional. She made complaints about the pushback, but the target on her back only grew. In her Medium post, she said there was a station policy that did not allow her to appear on TV with another Black anchor.
"I was told my natural hair is unprofessional and the equivalent to him throwing on a baseball cap to go to the grocery store. He said, 'Mississippi viewers needed to see a beauty queen.' He even asked, 'why my hair doesn't lay flat.'"
And after all of that, things escalated even more.
After using accrued sick days to look after her ailing grandfather, she was fired in 2018. In April, Noble-Jones took her complaint to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC).
Times have been difficult for her, but she has made due. Noble-Jones currently works for Michael Kors and freelances on the side.
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