A Pittsburgh television station cut ties with long-time anchor Wendy Bell on Wednesday over racially charged comments she posted on her Facebook page about a shooting.
WTAE-TV’s parent company, Hearst Television, said Bell’s comments were “inconsistent with the company’s ethics and journalistic standards,” AP reported.
“WTAE has ended its relationship with anchor Wendy Bell,” Hearst Television told AP. “Wendy’s recent comments on a WTAE Facebook page were inconsistent with the company’s ethics and journalistic standards.”
— Pittsburgh PG (@PittsburghPG) March 30, 2016
On March 21, Bell posted on Facebook about a shooting at a cookout that left five people dead, including a pregnant woman and her unborn child. While no arrests have been made in the March 9 massacre, Bell, who is white, said it didn’t take a “criminal profiler to draw a mental sketch of the killers.”
“They are young black men, likely teens or in their early 20s,” she wrote in the now deleted post. “They have multiple siblings from multiple fathers and their mothers work multiple jobs. These boys have been in the system before. They’ve grown up there. They know the police. They’ve been arrested.”
The post caused a firestorm of backlash on social media, and Bell apologized for comments that she acknowledged “were insensitive and could be viewed as racist.” On Wednesday, Bell told AP, she wasn’t given a “fair-shake” from the station.
“It makes me sick,” she told AP. “What matters is what’s going on in America, and it is the death of black people in this country.”
On Twitter, “young black men” began trending nationally on Thursday as people shared Bell’s story. While many people condemned the comments, others came to Bell’s defense and applauded her honesty.