A news station in Lawton, Oklahoma is puzzling over how to handle a meteorologist’s firing as they face a public backlash.
The trouble started when KSWO weather woman Mandy Bailey was fired over an "offensive" brainteaser that she flashed on air as a challenge to viewers.
In the "say-what-you-see" puzzle, a noose hangs from the letter T in the word THERE. The answer Bailey gave for the brain teaser was "hang in there."
KSWO management wrote on Facebook that the image was "offensive and unacceptable," presumably because of the connection between a noose and a lynching, or maybe because of the noose’s connection to suicide.
This was the explanation the station posted to Facebook:
At KSWO, we do not tolerate behavior of any kind that depicts hatred, social injustice, racism or anti-Semitism. The employee responsible was terminated immediately. On behalf of all of the employees at KSWO, we offer you our sincere, heart-felt [sic] apology with a promise that we will continue to work tirelessly to earn your trust every day.
Now, fans are campaigning for KSWO to rehire Bailey, posting "Bring Back Mandy" on just about every story shared to the news station’s Facebook page.
They’ve also started a boycott of the station and a Change.org petition to give Bailey her job back.
A GoFundMe page has even started to collect money for Bailey, and has already raised $355 (although its $100,000 goal is probably a little optimistic).
While it’s certainly good for a business to crack down hard on racism in the workplace, for many viewers it seems that Bailey’s puzzle was totally innocent.
What do you think? So far KSWO shows no sign of changing their decision.
[H/T: Yahoo News]