Baltimore News Anchor Fired After Asking Making Racist Suggestion About Black Female Mayors
On live TV, WJZ anchor Mary Bubala questioned whether Baltimore "needs a different kind of leadership" after three Black women mayors.
Like what you're reading?
Get more in your inbox.
“Mary Bubala is no longer a WJZ-TV employee. The station apologizes to its viewers for her remarks,” the station said in a statement.
The firing comes less than a week after Bubala asked a Black panelist an insensitive question during an on-air segment.“We’ve had three female, African-American mayors in a row,” Bubala said. “They were all passionate public servants. Two resigned, though. Is this a signal that a different kind of leadership is needed to move Baltimore City forward?”
Bubala confirmed her firing on Facebook.
“WJZ was forced to let me go,” she wrote. “I am saddened and shocked by this decision. Baltimore City has been my home for 25 years and I treasure and am so grateful for the relationships I have made with the people of Baltimore during this time. I fully intend to fight to restore my reputation because I’ve invested my heart and soul in my work and my city. Thank you, Baltimore for all of your support during this difficult period of time. It means so much to me.”
Journalist Nicki Mayo’s tweet helped a video of the segment go viral but she does not revel in Bubala’s unemployment."Firing or letting her go does nothing to relieve the greater problem here. So, I don’t take any joy in another journalist not working,” Mayo said. “This was another ceremonial falling on the sword that continues cut a serious hole in efforts for newsroom inclusion and diversity.”
Mayo believes Bubala’s comment is an example of how intersectionality affects Black women.
Soooooo this happened following the resignation of #Baltimore Mayor #CatherinePugh. URGH!🤦🏾♀️🤦🏾♂️🤷🏾♀️🤷🏾♂️ I'm not even sure I want to hear the excuse for this. I'm cringing and cursing🤬. (Reposting 📹video from @AndreShowell) pic.twitter.com/DPZfdnedFP— Nicki Mayo (@nickimayonews) May 3, 2019
"The question I have for you," Bubala said to a Black female panelist on WJZ-TV Thursday afternoon, "We have had three female African American mayors in a row. They were all passionate public servants. Two resigned though. Is it a signal that a different kind of leadership is needed to move Baltimore city forward?"
The clip quickly made its way across the internet, and dozens of Twitter users questioned how Bubala could make such a statement on live TV.
@MaryWJZ @WJZ As a Black man in America, I found your question about having 3 female African American on this evening newscast offensive . In a City, which is over 60% black , you have offended thousands of people. You owe your listeners an apology— dcbmorelocalnewswatcher (@BlayzBrooks) May 3, 2019
@MaryWJZ, we all know that you knew better than to make the charged racist statements you made tonight but u did it anyway, and with such confidence. It’s unacceptable @wjz needs to take appropriate measures," wrote Twitter user @wrldtrvlr_.
"Not only did u insult the majority of ur viewers, and not only did u not think about all the little girls that were watching and what message u were sending them but u further stigmatized a group of women that have been historically disenfranchised not only by those institutions but from those institutions.
@wjz needs to fire u."
Other Twitter users noted that literally hundreds of white men have been convicted of corruption or impeached from office throughout America's long history, yet similar questions are never asked about that group.
Because u knew better. Before @SenKamalaHarris there has only been one black woman elected to the Senate in our nation’s history. @MaryWJZ statements like urs help fuel stigma of POC leadership. U don’t deserve a platform to speak to a city of citizens u clearly don’t respect— Theresa but friends call me Tre (@wrldtrvlr_) May 3, 2019
I had to replay this three times to make sure I heard her correctly. This is unacceptable. We do not generalize white men this way. Who is this anchor!— Deanna Fry (@DeannaFryTV) May 3, 2019
We’re not doing this with white, male Donald Trump in the White House.— Lisa Snowden-McCray (@LisaMcCray) May 3, 2019
Every American President who's ever been impeached or investigated for corruption has been a white male. Is this a signal that a different kind of leadership is needed to move this country forward?— Fred Scharmen (@sevensixfive) May 3, 2019
Bubala has been at WJZ for more than 15 years and gained notoriety for her coverage of the Freddie Gray protests and for interviewing victims of R. Kelly's sexual assaults.
She has not released an official apology but wrote in the comments of two Twitter posts, saying she was "very sorry."
"The way my question came out was not what I intended to ask because race and gender are irrelevant to one's leadership abilities," she wrote on two different Twitter threads criticizing her for her language. "I combined two questions in my head during a live interview and said something I didn't mean to."
I am so very sorry. The way my question came out was not what I intended to ask because race and gender are irrelevant to one's leadership abilities. I combined two questions in my head during a live interview and said something I didn't mean to.— Mary Bubala (@MaryWJZ) May 3, 2019
Now, check these out: