Two white television anchors were suspended after wearing afro-like wigs for a 1970s-themed segment last month, the Arkansas Times reported.
Chris May, a local reporter from KATV news, and Barry Brandt, a meteorologist, wore wigs in a segment that announced that a cold front was making its way to Little Rock, Arkansas, which brought the city’s regular high summer temperatures to the 70-degree range.
Both May and Brandt engaged in wordplay that referenced the temperatures mentioned above by sporting looks that were popularized in the 1970s, hence their desire to sport afro-like wigs.
Afterwards, they received criticism from local activists and viewers.
This is beyond disappointing @KATV. I talked to local journalists and members of the Black community traumatized by… https://t.co/aOzcmCv8H1
The reporters got suspended, and the longtime news director Nick Genty was fired.
In a statement provided to the Arkansas Times, Seabers released an apology for the “poor judgement” of “some members” of the team. He also said that he recognised the “severity” of the incident.
“We apologize to all viewers who were rightfully offended by the segment, and we promise to enact and enforce new measures to prevent future incidents from occurring. We remain committed to serving the dynamic and diverse community of Little Rock, Seabers said, in part.